Writing in the Sunday Independent Eamonn Sweeney hit out at the performance of Ireland’s track and field athletes.
And he said he failed to understand why English wasn’t included.
“Less than a month before the Games, Mark English finished a competitive fifth in a high-quality world 800m junior final. The first and second runners that day were Botswana’s Nijel Amos and Timothy Kitum of Kenya who finished second and third behind David Rudisha in the most memorable track final of the London Games,” wrote Sweeney.
“In the world juniors, English was less than a second and a half down on Kitum who went on to run 1.42.53. in the Olympics. The Letterkenny runner’s absence was the most galling of all.
“The refusal to treat each qualification case on its own merits meant Athletics Ireland sent runners who weren’t fit to the Games while leaving at home a trio who could have provided a welcome good news story for the sport and showcased young talent on the way up. And God knows Irish athletics needed a good news story this past week.
“Athletics Ireland and Kevin Ankrom can either take comfort in deluded and defensive self-justification or admit that right now Irish athletics has reached rock bottom. The sport can’t go on like this. If it does, it runs the risk of becoming an irrelevance at Olympic level with all the funding consequences this implies.
“During the Mills/Cuddihy affair the amount of athletes who tweeted their disapproval of Athletics Ireland, and the harsh nature of that criticism, was astounding. If the runners themselves are losing faith in the sport’s governing body why should the rest of us feel differently?”
His full piece is here: