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Jess Varnish, Katy Marchant hit out after Olympics woe

By Staff Reporter

Published 03/03/2016

Great Britain's Katy Marchant
Great Britain's Katy Marchant

A fuming Jess Varnish and Katy Marchant suffered Olympic disappointment before hitting out at British Cycling's coaches for their failure to reach Rio.

Varnish and Marchant needed to finish two clear places ahead of France in the two-women, two-lap team sprint on the opening day of the Track World Championships in London to secure Britain's Olympic place.

But the pair could only finish in fifth in 32.903 seconds and France were seventh in 33.258secs. The qualification period concluded in London, and Britain did not accrue enough points to advance, with Varnish and Marchant pointing the finger at their superiors.

"I feel sick," said Varnish, who was disqualified at the London 2012 Olympics when competing with Victoria Pendleton. "How many times can I keep putting my life on hold, making these choices for my career, if it's not going to pay off, through no fault of our own?

"We have been playing catch up through bad decisions and bad luck. There's been people put out for races... it's great they've been given an opportunity and to try to qualify the 'A team', but they're not there yet.

"It should not be their job. To have to qualify for the Olympic Games, it should not be a development programme. It should be 'A team', 'A team', 'A team'."

Marchant said: "We should never have been in the position that we're in. To be able to come out and perform like we did, I'm proud of Jess and myself.

"But to be sitting here saying we're not going to the Olympics is heartbreaking."

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