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Statement regarding Paris 2024 Olympic nominations

Published Thu 30 May 2024

Athletics Australia acknowledges the difficult task of Olympic nomination and selection where there are more athletes qualified than positions available. In the case of the Women’s Marathon for Paris 2024, Australia had six athletes meet the qualification standard but can only select three.

The depth in women’s marathon in Australia is to be applauded and is unprecedented and in previous years, selection has been much more straightforward.

As an Olympian, I have seen decades of Olympic teams selected and it is not unusual for there to be debate over decisions of a selection panel such as Athletics Australia’s independent and expert body of selectors, and an appeals process exists for this reason.

We understand this can be distressing for athletes who miss selection and these matters are often highly charged, however the independent body of selectors is made up of industry experts, who understand Athletics Australia’s nomination policy and the nuances of the sport.

As President of Athletics Australia, we respect and support our independent selection panel as well as their expertise and experience, and we are satisfied that the policy was followed when selecting athletes to be nominated for the Women's marathon in Paris. We are also extremely content with the process whereby athletes and coaches were briefed on the policy including a public forum with the opportunity to ask questions and clarify the selection criteria.

To date, some media and social media commentary regarding this selection has been baseless, unfounded and damaging to the sport and individuals involved. Any allegations that Athletics Australia or Athletics Australia’s selection panel has not acted with integrity is also defamatory, and simply not true.

We also ask that respect is shown to all six athletes who have qualified, and to rightly celebrate the three who will soon be nominated to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

Our deepest sympathy goes to those athletes that have not been selected for Paris. Athletes have trained for countless hours and dedicated their lives to this point, but with only three spots available, selectors rely on the selection criteria, which includes a combination of metrics and discretion, given that each marathon and the conditions in which they are raced are all different. 

Athletics Australia’s selection panel will continue to apply the nomination policy for the marathon and other Paris 2024 disciplines, as approved by the Australian Olympic Committee, and in due course and after due process, the AOC will announce the Australian Team selections.

Jane Flemming OLY
Athletics Australia 

Posted: 30/5/2024