Agence France Presse
Sunday 12 August 2012
Last Update 12 August 2012 12:51 pm
WELLINGTON: The New Zealand government has summonsed red-faced New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) officials over the blunder that almost cost defending women’s shot put champion Valerie Adams an Olympic start.
Adams, also the reigning world champion, was rocked by the error that saw her omitted from the original start list, but eventually claimed the silver medal behind arch rival Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus.
NZOC officials successfully appealed to have Adams accepted as a late entry but the bungle still caused complications when she arrived at the stadium on competition day, New Zealand media reported Sunday.
She was unable get into parts of the stadium, the message she was allowed to start had not filtered down to officials who let competitors into the arena, requiring further urgent calls, and there was a hold up providing her name bib.
“Mentally it did screw me up a bit,” Adams, 27, told Radio Sport.
The athlete only discovered she had not been entered for the event when she checked the start list on the eve of the competition and found her name was missing.
New Zealand Sports Minister Murray McCully said he wanted assurances the error would not happen again and would meet Adams’ manager and NZOC representatives to discuss what went wrong.
“It should never have happened,” McCully told TV3’s The Nation program.
“Her manager Nick Cowan has asked me for a more formal meeting back in New Zealand which will probably happen next week.
“This is an NZOC issue, it’s their territory but we are a significant stake holder, significant funders of high performance sport so I want to see us all put our heads together and make sure that all the lessons are learned.”
The NZOC has blamed an athletics section official for failing to confirm Adams’ entry.
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