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Phil Norman: Paris 2024 Olympic omission leaves runner ‘mentally exhausted’

Norman, who received no central funding, balanced training for the Olympics alongside working full time.

An online petition set up by the runner has had more than 7,000 signatures.

“What needs to change is the treatment of athletes and the undermining of their performances,” he added.

“Policies need to change to be directly in line with that of World Athletics and in this case the Olympic Charter.

“I am aware that I have not been able to change anything for myself but, my hope is that it can help future athletes.”

UKA defended their selection criteria for the Games, which start on 26 July, with a spokesperson saying that the World Athletics ranking qualification system was “not a direct invitation to the athlete to take part”.

“It is a different qualification route for athletes, allowing national federations to select athletes through this route if they consider it appropriate to do so,” the spokesperson added.

“UKA’s view is that those athletes should only be selected on similar principles to those selected through the direct qualification standards, i.e. those who are capable of making top eight in their event.

“The UKA standards reflect this and in most cases, those used for this year’s selection were the same standards we used for the World Athletics Championships last year.

“In selecting teams there will always be a line with some people unfortunately on the wrong side of it, and we do understand the disappointment of those who fall into this category.”

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