The Olympic dreams for Great Britain's rhythmic gymnastics group appear to be over after British Gymnastics elected not to send the squad to this summer's Olympic Games in London, but fans and supporters are not yet giving up.
The British group failed to qualify in its own right at the recent pre-Olympic event, finishing eighth, but the host nation automatically receives an invitation from the International Gymnastics Federation. The self-funded British group scored 44.950 on the first day of competition, 0.273 below the score British Gymnastics had set as a goal.
The group far surpassed the targeted score on the second day of competition, however, scoring 47.200. British Gymnastics, however, will not budge and refuse to accept the FIG invitation as host nation due to the first-day score being below the target.
"This standard was designed to ensure that any performance would not only be credible, but also provide a lasting legacy for the future of the group discipline within British Gymnastics," British Gymnastics said in a statement. "Unfortunately the group from Great Britain fell short of meeting this definitive target.
"In accordance with the selection process approved by the BOA (which was agreed and acknowledged by all competing Group members), British Gymnastics wishes to confirm that in line with this policy it will not be nominating a Rhythmic Gymnastics Group for inclusion into Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
"British Gymnastics acknowledges the considerable commitment and improved performance shown by the Group representing Great Britain at the recent London Prepares series. To fall agonizingly short of the qualifying standard was an enormous disappointment for the Group and everyone involved in the sport of gymnastics. The Group should be assured that their performance will be the catalyst for the on-going development of the Rhythmic Group discipline within Great Britain, which we hope will lead to future World Championship and Olympic Games representation."
If the British group does not go, the berth will go to alternate Switzerland.
An online petition in support of the British gymnasts has collected more than 2,000 signatures so far. Click here to read the petition and click here for the full statement from British Gymnastics.
External Link: British Rhythmic Group Official Website