Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 26 May 2016

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Biting Back: Wendy Houvenaghel deserves better

With Steven Beacom

Published 07/08/2012

Wendy Houvenaghel should be wearing an Olympic gold medal proudly around her neck today.

Instead she has nothing. Not even the pain of defeat to reflect on, just the utter devastation and despair of being the forgotten woman who never got a chance to show what she could do.

Houvenaghel, (37), from Upperlands in County Londonderry, has won World Championships and an Olympic silver medal.

She also happens to be one of the classiest women in sport, but was treated with a distinct lack of class at the weekend.

Wendy, part of a four woman group in the Team Pursuit event, was not selected as one of the three riders to compete in the qualifying round, semi-finals or finals meaning she wasn't entitled to a gold medal, duly won by Team GB's Joanna Rowsell, Dani King and Laura Trott in world record breaking fashion.

Word has it that Wendy's training times were just as good and better than some of her team-mates.

Yet the Team GB coaches decided not to give her an opportunity to compete.

She wouldn't have let the side down, no doubt about that.

Indeed with her, the team may have gone even quicker. So much for the Olympic spirit. Our Wendy was shown none.

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