Olympic gold medallists Rebecca Romero and Bradley Wiggins will not be able to defend their titles at the London 2012.
The International Olympic Committee has changed the cycling schedule to ensure that there were five events for both men and women.

As a result, the individual pursuit, won by Wiggins and Romero in Beijing in 2008, has been dropped.

"There didn't need to be such a massive overhaul," said Romero, who is now planning to switch to road events.

There were seven male and three female track events at previous Olympics before the plan for gender-parity was drawn up.

The new schedule focuses on sprints, keirins, team sprints, team pursuits and omniums for both sexes.

IOC president Jacques Rogge said the committee was just following the recommendations of the International Cycling Union, cycling's world governing body.

"Of course, the concerned riders regret that. This is perfectly understandable but the executive board of UCI considered the new format would be far more appealing," Rogge insisted.

"There is a general shift from endurance events more to sprint events, that is a consideration being made by the experts of cycling, not the IOC."

Romero was far from impressed, however, and told BBC Radio 5 live: "This is a massive overhaul of the Olympic track programme which will have massive consequences for the sport.

"There will be more medal opportunities for female riders so it's creating equality in that sense, but it's creating inequality between sprint and endurance riders.

"Out of 10 medals that will now be available, six could potentially just be distributed among two riders.

"It's a great opportunity for Victoria Pendleton - it was really unfair that Chris Hoy has the opportunity (to win three gold medals) and she only had one in Beijing, and I think it's great that she's been fighting towards that.

"But it's a shame it'll affect so many other riders, and the consequences it'll have for so many other athletes around the world who've been training for years towards their dreams."

Pendleton issued a statement in which she expressed her sympathy but insisted the changes represented important progress for women's cycling.

"Obviously it's very disappointing that some events have been dropped from the schedule within these changes and I was as surprised as anyone that the UCI actually made such radical proposals," she said. "I really feel for my team mates who will miss out as a result.

"But it is a very positive step for female track cycling everywhere in the world.

"The fact this progress has been made for the London Games is a great advert for equality in Britain."

Romero was expected to make her return to track racing after a year out at the British Championships in October, but her failure to take part was a clear indication that she is already focusing her attentions on a future in road racing.

She says the challenge of making herself an Olympic-standard road racer is "unknown," but she has proved herself to be very adaptable in the past.

She won a rowing silver in the quadruple sculls at the 2004 Athens games before switching to cycling, and was national road racing champion in 2006.

Posted by imran Thursday, December 10, 2009


Post a Comment

Age Calculator

Date  Month  Year

You have been living for:
In months:
In days:
In hours:
In minutes:
Your next birthday will be in:

Subscribe here