Sue them for that? I don't think so.
Allegations of incompetence are going to start flying toward BF's selectors from all angles pretty soon, so I can't imagine there's anything in that sentence they would have a legal case from.
Am sure we'll see some justification reasons pretty soon that we can start to analyse, but as I've said repeatedly, sending people "for experience" is pointless. All these atheletes are going to multiple Worlds and Euros, it's just a prestige thing for the Olympics, it's not actually going to make them a better fencer.
The form athelete in WS is Jojo. The results from this season reflect this and that's why she should go. This time last year or 2 years ago it was Chrystall. As I understand it, Louise is still injured and Sophie, despite being a good fencer, a nice person and a potential fencing star of the future is not ready yet.
Seems like another situation where the BOA Olympic Qualification Standards Panel might get involved and have a look, just as they are in the case of Aaron Cooke in Taekwando.
Perhaps a good question to ask is what has happened between Zonal selection (April) where BF selected Louise, with Jojo as reserve, that would bump Jojo DOWN the pecking order to be behind both Louise and Sophie now.
Louise has not competed due to injury.
Sophie has got 2xL64 in Bologna and Tianjin
Jojo has got 2xL16 in Bologna and Tianjin
Make sense of that one?
Last edited by hokers; -30th May 2012 at 13:51.
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
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I think your question about why Jojo was "bumped down" is one which must be answered.
I'm breaking ranks of BF staff (against earlier guidelines) to comment on a few things, as I, my club and my reputation are currently being judged by the fencing community of which I have been a life-long, hard-working and at times radical and anti-establishment member.
Firstly, the one important inaccuracy in the BF official statement is that Truro Fencing Club is a performance centre or has received any monies from British Fencing or UK Sport. This is not the case.
Truro Fencing Club is a self-sustaining and largely membership-funded not-for-profit sports club and has never received payments as a performance club or performance centre. It does a fantastic sports and community development job, and along with Camden, is producing the very best young British sabre fencers. The club, like Camden, should be commended for its success in a low-funded, volunteer led environment.
The TFC Performance Program is completely separate from TFC, receiving no funding, management input or anything else from Truro Fencing Club. Day-to-day training is in a different venue, and even most of the TFC's coaching staff is completely separate. TFCPP has benefitted a great many athletes not on the WCP, providing free quality training and support over the last 3 years to many of our top athletes from around the UK.
BF's WCP pays the TFCPP account the fee for my contract as national coach, and some other costs associated with the three WCP athletes at Truro. These costs include a small amount of venue costs for WCP athlete training, physio support and S&C support. I do not view this in any way as dubious or 'below board'! The WCP athletes based at Truro arguably receive far less physio, medical and S&C support than some non-WCP athletes have received over the last 7 or 8 months at Lee Valley. Most of the GB men’s and women’s sabre squad has at some point benefitted from the services offered by TFCPP.
With regard to selection, I of course presented data to the Performance Team, which includes the Management team, National Coaches, Medical/S&C team along with the Performance Analyst. I don’t think it is appropriate for me to discuss selection or non-selection until official announcements have been made. Suffice it to say that in the end this is a team decision based on objective data and reached after a long honest debate and analysis.
The data presented was all the results from the start of Olympic qualifying to the close of Home Nation place selection. I was also asked to put together comparison of data between Williams, Hutchison and Nicoll in their first senior season (aged around 20 depending on when their birthday falls) with a view to looking at future potential. At every team meeting on any matter since August last year when I started the job, I have stated that I appreciate that as a personal coach to some athletes, the rest of the team and myself should always be aware that there may be subconscious bias. I have tried at all times to scrutinise all data objectively, and I believe the data used is fair, and all of it is available in the public domain. I am going to summarise data used at time of selection and detailed data analysis post-selection when looking again at selections after receipt of appeals. Post receipt of appeals, data was closely re-analysed to ensure that no information had been omitted and that data was closely and correctly analysed. I believe that it is reasonable when there is no ‘clear blue water’ between athletes to look more closely at results data, and to analyse the value of those results, not just the points and the ranking. If there is a big performance gap then it is reasonable to suppose the detailed data will back up the simple ranking data, and so less detailed checks can be carried out. Here's some data from the time of selection (in addition to the simple competition results, which anyone can see right now on the FIE website):
LBW – World Ranking = 48. Pts = 32. DEs fenced = 17. Wins = 8. Defeats = 9. Byes = 3. Ratio = 47% or 55% inc byes. Wins vs Top 50 = 2 (numbers 4 & 40). Losses to fencers ranked 50+ = 1. Losses to fencers ranked 100+ = 3. Heavy defeats (to single figures) = 6
JH – World Ranking = 52. Pts = 30. DEs = 16. Wins = 4. Defeats = 12. Byes = 7. Ratio = 25% or 48% inc byes. Wins vs Top 50 = 1 (number 15). Losses to fencers ranked 50+ = 3. Losses to fencers ranked 100+ = 3. Heavy defeats (to single figures) = 4
CN – World Ranking = 54. Pts = 30. DEs = 20. Wins = 10. Defeats = 10. Byes = 1. Ratios = 50% or 52% inc byes. Wins vs Top 50 = 2 (number 34 & 39). Losses to fencers ranked 50+ = 1. Losses to fencers ranked 100+ = 1. Heavy defeats (to single figures) = 5
SW – World Ranking = 59. Pts = 24. DEs = 18. Wins = 9. Defeats = 9. Byes = 1. Ratios = 50% or 53% inc byes. Wins vs Top 50 = 2. Losses to fencers ranked 50+ = 1. Losses to fencers ranked 100+ = 0. Heavy defeats (to single figure) = 3.
In addition, with 2016 potential in mind (which is indeed difficult to judge and often subjective), here’s some performance comparison data from results in athletes first senior season. This data ignores senior results during junior years, but looks at results at the same point in athlete’s careers – their first full senior year. This is the most objective way of viewing performance (rather than saying 'X is more talented than Y'):
JH - Average Field Position = 62.5/100. Average event size = 87.2. Av position = 54.5
CN - Average Field Position = 65.76/100. Average event size = 88.2. Av position = 58
SW - Average Field Position = 51.75/100. Average event size = 128.7. Av position = 66.6
This shows realistic performance comparison. An athlete may have made 15th in a field of 40, but how does that compare in performance potential terms (as opposed to current medal prospects) to 50th in a field of 150. This does not refute the argument that current medal potential is affected by ‘How far you are from the top’ not ‘How far you are from the bottom’. But it does express an athlete’s ability to progress through rounds, and POSSIBLY therefore an aspect of potential to beat other fencers and in future progress to a higher level.
This information demonstrates:
- There was no ‘clear blue water’ between the top 4
- Selection has therefore to be made on close analysis of real performance
- Whether or not individuals agree with selection is less important than whether or not individuals assume an injustice has been done, there was some kind of corruption or undue influence
- Whether or not I agree with selection is also unimportant, as long as data has been fairly analysed and the selection is based on a logical rationale and involves no undue influence. I strongly believe this to be the case throughout the selection process
- Due to lack of clear difference among the 4, 2016 potential, recent form, and who athletes had beaten in OG qualification were clearly important factors, and a difficult value judgement had to be made.
Lastly I would like to express four important points:
1. Whoever is selected or not selected, the athletes are not to blame. They deserve the support of the fencing public
2. Whoever has been approaching national press (I know of at least 3 national newspapers) and the BOA anonymously whilst the appeals process was still ongoing to try to undermine the integrity of individuals who are striving to achieve in our sport deserves far more opprobrium than any athlete, coach, official or selector
3. Jon Williams is a trustee and benefactor to the TFC Gold Foundation. His philanthropy has funded a fencing venue in Truro, which has been used for school clubs, beginners’ courses, individual lessons, youth development program, a wheelchair fencing club, TFC Performance training, and community projects such as a free art exhibition, a community film, and many other activities. Jon’s funding has also helped many aspiring athletes not on the WCP by helping to fund their training and competitions. Jon does not, and never has, helped fund the post of national coach, sponsored or funded British Fencing or the WCP. Ironically he has not even funded or sponsored Truro Fencing Club! I find it reprehensible that a philanthropist who has done such an enormous amount for our sport should be dragged into this debate just because he also happens to have a talented fencer as a daughter
4. Since I started work as national coach I have received no payments or expenses from Jon William’s or TFC Gold Foundation. I have been paid by British Fencing, and when I’m not away, I coach children in schools in Truro and at Truro Fencing Club for which I receive an hourly rate from those sources as a self-employed coach.
I believe we all have the right to our own opinions on selection and to debate them, but should all recognise when performance judgements have to be made by a professional team. I believe the poor communication of BF has to bear some blame, but lack of very clear understanding of what is going on at the top level is normal in all sport. Don’t always believe what you read in the papers.
National Sabre Coach
On my signal UNLEASH AL...!
However, I strongly and unreservedly endorse the two points quoted.
I hope and pray that our fencers who have worked hard to be the highest FIE ranked GB fencers leading up to London are selected.
Its moments like these that I wish true 'sportsmanship' would show it head and someone could just say..'you know what, you're on fire right now and I'm not, you deserve to go.'.....
drum roll please..........................
Hold on.....so why was Jojo even an 'appellant' in the first place...I'm absolutely baffled. Can someone honestly stand up and tell us that she is NOT the best female sabreur(sabreuse?) going into these games.
Selection is clearly not based on performance is it..
An epic post indeed.
Jon, I applaud you for making it and for all you have achieved in Truro.
I have been involved in selections at a much lower level and I know the time and care that goes into the process.
Whether I, or others on this forum and elsewhere, agree with the selections made is irrelevant.
What always matters most are the athletes concerned who have all sacrificed much in an effort to achieve Olympic selection.
It is vital for them and those to follow that the process of selection is seen to be fair and open to scrutiny.
Your statement helps to make this so.
Thanks for that...
So our highest FIE ranked female sabreur at the time of the cut of point was...?
That must really make our elite fencers feel good. Why was the Selection Meeting scheduled for the same day as the Performance Advisory Group, and when one of the three voting selectors was unable to attend in person? The Selectors were not given prior notice of the recommendations, were not shown minutes of the Performance Team meeting and minutes of the Performance Advisory Group meeting. As the Appeals report state:The appeal panel has some reservations about the efficacy of this process in bringing all relevant considerations to the attention of the selectors to enable them to make an informed and fair decision under some pressure of time.
Why the haste to hold the Selection Meeting? Why were the Selectors not provided with adequate documentation beforehand? Why did selection come down to a verbal presentation?Thus everything depended on the oral presentation made at the meeting by the performance manager acting alone.
demented taxi driver
Great post Jon and sorry that you and Truro are having to take the brunt of our dysfunctional press. In my other job you get used to it, but never pleasant.
Not helpful of BF to publish an inaccurate and inflammatory statement re funding Truro. I can only imagine the expletives around the country at that (inaccurate) revelation.
The appeal panels statement is extremely useful in setting out that the process was adhered to and some strong hints/observations about how the process could be improved. By definition, the fact we are not sending our best most in form WS, means that our systems are flawed.
There are quite a number of references to people about process. In my experience, people who hide behind process tend to be less equipped to do the right thing. This really does appear to be a time for someone to step up and do the right thing!
Who was it that decided the cut off dates for selection of the 8 home country places? Was it the BOA, FIE, BFA, one of the 'selection/advisory groups', the performance director...?
I don't understand how it is that the team selections can be delayed until after the next international team competition, but that the individual selections had to be made sooner. If there were important international competitions that would demonstrate those fencers heading towards peak performance for the Games, why were these events not included in the time frame of the run up to selection? It would seem logical to select as close as possible to the Games as one could. It would also have allowed injured fencers eg Louise BW and Laurence H to show that they were medically fit by showing some recent results that they were 'on form' again.
I am very pleased to see what you have written.
Personally I endorse 100% what you say about the athletes and they are entirely blameless in what has happened and whoever goes to Olympics should go with our full support.
One of the positive features before this debacle was that the sabre weapon was the smallest and possibly the
most harmonious of the three weapons with clubs, fencers and officials always pulling together. That is why
both Camden and Truro have made rapid progress at junior level not only domestically, but at international level as well.
I was personally very annoyed when I received a phonecall last Monday from Times talking about an anonymous letter with allegations and refused to talk to the journalist. I know that both Ian and James have also refused to talk to him as well. As I said at time washing dirty linen in public is not clever. That is quite
different from being critical about how sport is run. A healthy debate is like a chess game!
My concern has always been that the selection process is fair and we send athletes on merit and not on theoretic progression. The Olympics is unlike European and World Championships a showcase .It is the one
opportunity when Britain who are not particularly brilliant in sport can show what we can achieve on modest
resources. We know that we are unlikely to win medals, but what is just as important that our fencers are
fit and in the best form to do themselves credit and get the best possible result.
That has been sadly lost in the translation of the presentation to PAG and independent selectors.I will leave
it now to others to post the statistics and performance details once the team has been announced.
Bologna is included for home nation selection. Tianjin was after the cut off.
I believe the selection cut offs were set some time before AN started in post but could be wrong.
There are solid arguments both for cutting off at the end olympic qualifying, when all
the top athletes are truly striving for their place, and for allowing more
time to get 'in form' fencers.
There is no perfect solution as usual
On my signal UNLEASH AL...!
I would also like to echo everything Jon said in his conclusion, in particular the need to support the athletes who are selected regardless of who they are. As I posted earlier the results of these 10 people (those we know and those we don't) will be of huge impact to the future of the sport which everyone who is taking the time to post here must love. We can support them or sabotage them with a whispering campaign of "such and such should be here not you".
Don't lets do that please!
Gildas has pointed out to me that JH stats should read 7 wins and 4 byes, not the other way round. This does of course not alter the overall stat inc byes of 48%
On my signal UNLEASH AL...!