Gold Coast, April 10: Team England have made an embarrassing apology after failing to enter medal hopeful Melissa Lowther in the Commonwealth Games time trial. Lowther made the long journey to the Gold Coast with a place on the podium in her sights, but the 21-year-old was unable to compete on Tuesday due to an administration error.
Team England officials neglected to tick the right box on the entry system and a late appeal proved to be in vain.
Sarah Winckless, Team England's Chef de Mission, said: "I have spoken to Melissa to offer my sincere apologies to her, her coaches and to British Cycling.
"Melissa has trained hard for and focussed on this race and it should never be the case that an error on our part prevents an athlete from showing what she can do.
"We appealed to the Commonwealth Games Federation to allow Melissa into the race, but it was not possible at such short notice. Team England will be conducting a review to understand how the situation has arisen and how it can be prevented from happening again."
Lowther posted on Instagram: "I can't put into words how disappointed I am to have been missed off the start list due to an admin error.
"It was one of my targets this season to make selection for the time trial event and I was so proud that my hard work in training had paid off. While Team England have apologised, I'm still gutted not to have the opportunity to represent my country after all the hard miles I've put in."
A post shared by Melissa Lowther (@mellowther) on Apr 9, 2018 at 4:34pm PDT
Lowther will compete in the women's road race on Saturday.
The Athletics Federation of India too had committed a blunder in delaying the inclusion of track and field athletes, M Sreeshankar and Siddharth Yadav. Their names were sent after the deadline and the AFI had requested the organisers to allow the duo to compete.
Yadav is a high jumper, who had crossed the qualifying mark set by the AFI. Long jumper Sreeshankar missed the qualification standard by a centimeter during the Federation Cup in Patiala. He later pulled out of the Commonwealth Games after going down with fever. Gold Coast organisers denied Yadav a chance to compete.