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by Shane Stokes
April 11, 2018
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English rider Mel Lowther travelled more than 24 hours to get to the Gold Coast, having spent months training for the Commonwealth Games TT. However, having arrived, she realised that she was not listed on the start list, and was unable to ride the race as a result.
The error was down to an official not ticking a box on a form, something which happened despite what is reported to be ‘seven or eight’ layers of checks. “I can’t put into words how disappointed I am to have been missed off the start list due to an admin error,” said Lowther. “It was one of my targets this season to make selection for the time trial event and I was so proud that my hard work in training had paid off.
“While Team England have apologised, I’m still gutted not to have the opportunity to represent my country after all the hard miles I’ve put in. Hearing the news was really difficult and I’d like to thank my family, friends and British Cycling for their support.”
Team England chef de mission Sarah Winckless gave an apology to Lowther. “No athlete should suffer because of an administrative error by my group,” she said, according to the Guardian. “As soon as we knew of the error we did everything to rectify it and it went to the Commonwealth Games Federation reallocation committee and unfortunately they were not minded to add her into the draw.
“I’ve spoken to Melissa and she was very reasonable, she was very disappointed not to be able to compete as we are on her behalf. I think more than embarrassing, it’s hugely disappointing and she has my sympathies and sincere apologies.” Lowther has said she will refocus on the road race.