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Hunt appeals Olympic non-selection

  • Hunt appeals Olympic non-selection

    Marathoner Jeff Hunt has appealed his non-selection in the Australian athletics team for Rio.

Marathoner Jeff Hunt has appealed his non-selection in the Australian track and field team for the Rio Olympics.

The 33-year-old Hunt will plead his case before an independent tribunal in the next couple of weeks after missing out on one of the three available berths.

The London Olympian clocked a time of two hours 16 minutes and nine seconds in mid-April in the Hamburg marathon.

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Although it was well under the Olympic qualifying standard of 2:19:00, it still left Hunt as the fifth-fastest Australian.

Reigning Commonwealth champion Michael Shelley headed the qualifying list, having run 2:11:19 and 2:12:20 in the qualifying period.

Liam Adams (2:14:58) and Scott Westcott (2:15:30) were nominated by Athletics Australia to fill the two remaining vacancies.

But the team cannot be officially announced by the Australian Olympic Committee until Hunt's appeal process is completed.

He will first plead his case to a three-man independent panel, with the final stage being a potential hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Well-credentialled trio Lisa Weightman, Jess Trengove and Milly Clark will represent Australia in the women's marathon in Rio.

After returning to the sport following the birth of her first child last year, the 37-year-old Weightman clocked a flying 2:27:35 to finish second in January's Houston marathon, guaranteeing a spot in her third Olympic team.

"I'm an experienced marathon runner now and Rio is an opportunity to run my heart out and be proud that I've given it everything I have," said Weightman, the bronze medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

"Rio to me is about family sacrifice, teamwork and persistence."

Trengove shot to prominence by finishing 11th in the marathon at the 2013 world championships in Moscow.

She was also third at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Rising star Clark, 26, was third in 2:29:07 in her first serious outing in a marathon in Amsterdam.

"Over the past few days since receiving the news - I have felt a mixed bag of emotions," she said.

"Pure happiness, excitement, pride, fear and even sadness for the other women who made the qualifying mark but missed out on their dream of the Olympics.

"This is without a doubt the greatest achievement of my life."

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