Stevens opts out of 1500m trials - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stevens opts out of 1500m trials

03/02/2006 06:17:55 AM Comments (0)

This time the big decision is out of Craig Stevens' hands.

The swimmer who famously gave Ian Thorpe an Olympic berth in the 400m has decided to walk the selection tightrope at the Commonwealth Games trials.

Stevens has opted not to swim the 1500m despite head coach Alan Thompson saying the Sydneysider is right on the edge of missing the 45-strong team for the Melbourne Games.

The problem has arisen because Stevens' win in the 400m on Monday night was in a slow time and Thompson's tough selection criteria leaves Stevens right on the brink.

"The way I have it at a rough count we have 42 selected already and I don't see too many more women getting on," Thompson said.

"(Stevens) is right up near the end."

Thompson felt it would be a "difficult task" for Stevens to scrape into the team.

Stevens decided not to contest the distance event at which he made the 2004 Olympic final because his training had been for the 200m and 400m events.

Thompson said there would be no selection decision made on Stevens on sentimental grounds despite the 25-year-old stepping aside for Thorpe to win back-to-back Olympic titles in Athens.

"The reason we don't end up in court like other sports do is because ours is a black and white selection criteria," he said.

"Whether the criteria is qualifying times or rankings we pride ourselves on transparency."

Stevens had been upset by the drama which was ignited after he failed to make the 200m final on Tuesday.

"He will be very disappointed not to be on the team and he is trying to anticipate what will happen," Thompson said.

In 2004, Stevens could pick and choose his events. This time around he must nervously wait for the rest of the results to unfold.

The trials finish on Saturday night.

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