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England cyclist never had a chance at Commonwealth Games

April 10, 2018

Australia's men's individual time trial Cycling Road Gold medalist Cameron Meyer wipes his sweat sitting at the hot seat at the Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast, Australia, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Australians Cameron Meyer and Katrin Garfoot won their time trial gold medals in Commonwealth Games road cycling on Tuesday. Melissa Lowther never had a chance in the women’s race.

Somebody didn’t check the right boxes, so England cyclist Lowther was ruled out of the time trial hours before it began because of an administrative error.

It meant Lowther wasn’t formally entered for the race. Team England lost an appeal to have Lowther included.

“While Team England has apologized, I’m still gutted not to have the opportunity to represent my country after all the hard miles I’ve put in,” said the 21-year-old Lowther, who will still be eligible to compete in Saturday’s road race.

“I can’t put into words how disappointed I am to have been missed off the start list due to an admin error.”

England’s chef de mission Sarah Winckless apologized to Lowther and the cycling coaches.

“Melissa has trained hard for and focused on this race and it should never be the case that an error on our part prevents an athlete showing what she can do,” Winckless said.

The Commonwealth Games Federation said there had been no chance of the decision being overturned.

“The rules are very strict,” CGF chief executive David Grevemberg said. “England has a very big team. These things happen.”

The 30-year-old Meyer took the men’s gold over the 38.5-kilometer Currumbin course in 48 minutes, 13.04 seconds. He was 30.26 seconds ahead of England’s Harry Tanfield and 32.41 clear of New Zealander Hamish Bond, who took bronze.

Garfoot won the women’s race by nearly 55 seconds over Linda Villumsen of New Zealand. Hayley Simmons of England won the bronze.

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