• London Olympics 2012

Brits gutted by Olympic failure

ESPN staff
January 18, 2012
Team GB rhythmic gymnastics left "gutted" after missing out on Olympic qualification © Getty Images

Great Britain's rhythmic gymnastics were left "gutted" by their failure to secure an Olympic Games spot on Tuesday, as they fell short of the required benchmark score.

Performing at the London Prepares qualification event at the North Greenwich Arena, the team - Jade Faulkner, Francesca Fox, Lynne Hutchison, Louisa Pouli, Rachel Smith and Georgina Cassar - registered a score of 45.223, which was 0.273 short in the group all-round competition.

"We're definitely gutted," said Cassar. "This isn't going to be the end of us. We've worked so hard for this. We can be so much better. We were 0.2 off the mark we needed. We're going to fight for it because we know it's far from our best routine and for us this isn't the end."

Despite the team's determination to seek admittance British gymnastics Olympic performance director Tim Jones did confirm that the group's London 2012 dream was over.

"We've gone through a long process with the British Olympic Association which started in May last year," Jones said. "We were hoping to use a host nation place and we agreed at that point in time that we would set a standard benchmark score.

"That score had to be achieved in qualification competition so our situation is that we will not be nominating a group to the BOA to be in the Olympic team for summer this year. We've got a very clear process and policy in place and there's no recourse on that.

"I think the girls have done a terrific job of raising their game and I think we're starting to show we can begin to compete in the group event but unfortunately this time they didn't achieve the benchmark we'd hoped for."

The team scored 23.100 in the clean ball routine on Monday but Tuesday's 21.850 in the ribbon and hoop display was not enough to secure them the required aggregate.

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