Controversy Around Swimming Team Selection

July 8, 2013

LisaBlackburn-XL[Updated] Swimmer Lisa Blackburn has expressed dissatisfaction with the Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association [BASA] not selecting her for the FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona next month.

This morning BASA President Tim Petty announced that Roy Allan Burch and Rebecca Heyliger will represent Bermuda in Spain. Burch has qualified by time, and Heyliger was granted a wild card.

Blackburn was the island’s top medalist at the Central American & Caribbean Amateur Swimming Championships in Costa Rica earlier this month, capturing five of Bermuda’s 12 individual medals [4 gold], as well as being part of both gold medal winning relay teams. She was also the top medalist at the same event in 2011, capturing 4 of Bermuda’s 5 medals.

A statement from BASA said, ““As indicated in the selection of Rebecca Heyliger, BASA is keen to afford improving swimmers the experience to attend major meets with a view that they can continue their progression and qualify for future major international meets.

“Unfortunately Miss Blackburn’s performances are declining, not improving and therefore she has not been selected for the World Championships in Barcelona based on performances in 2012-13.”

Ms Blackburn said that BASA officials “opted to select results that are not indicative of my true performances over the past few weeks.”

“I think it is fitting to also mention that I swam a lifetime best in the 50 butterfly and the 100 freestyle at the Bermuda Nationals held in June at the new pool at National Stadium. I do continue to improve,”said Ms Blackburn.

The full statement from BASA follows below:

‘It is a disappointment to see that one of the Islands most experienced swimmers has chosen, as opposed to following the appropriate communication channels, to air complaints regarding a selection process in public. The Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association has a rigorous and well documented selection process regarding the qualification for overseas major meets with meet times and, where applicable, standards for wild card qualification.”

“All global meets have specific qualifying standards set as times which have to be achieved to attain qualification. For the FINA World Championships, only Roy-Allan Burch, has made the qualifying standard, consistent with the London Olympic Games in 2012.”

“Miss Blackburn has not made the qualification standard for either of the past two World Championships, nor the Olympic Games in 2012.”

“Wild cards are available for certain sports and certain events. BASA has a selection process based on supporting developing athletes who are working towards qualifying in the future. It is expected that these athletes are training at an elite level with an elite team, regularly compete at major meets and are demonstrating significant improvement in their performances.”

“Miss Blackburn has continued to perform well when representing Bermuda, but during 2012-13, the competitions have been focused around Masters events (age 25 and over), as opposed to the US Grand Prix circuit, and her times are slower than in previous years.”

“In 2003, when representing Canada, Miss Blackburn posted a time of 2.31 for the 200m breast stroke, a time which would have afforded her selection for the current World Championships. At the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Champions (‘CCCAN’) meet last week, she posted a time of 2.49 for the same event, some 17 seconds slower than qualification. Her 100m Breast stroke swim, her best event, a time of 1.14.59 was swum which was slower than the time to win the 15-17 year age group, and some 3 seconds slower than she herself performed 3 years ago to set the Bermuda record.

“The recent CCCAN meet reported on in the press is a strong development meet for the junior levels, however at the senior level the majority of events swum at the 18+ age group went straight to finals and some had as few as three participants. As such, whilst Miss Blackburn performed well, this should not be regarded as a world class level meet.”

“The wild card selection process was communicated to Miss Blackburn in fall 2012, and a meeting was held to clarify the wild card selection process. It was made clear at that stage that selection for Miss Blackburn was contingent on making the qualifying standard which she has unfortunately failed to achieve. Similar meetings/calls were held with all the Elite Swimmers in fall 2012 to ensure the process was clear.”

“As indicated in the selection of Rebecca Heyliger, BASA is keen to afford improving swimmers the experience to attend major meets with a view that they can continue their progression and qualify for future major international meets. Unfortunately Miss Blackburn’s performances are declining, not improving and therefore she has not been selected for the World Championships in Barcelona based on performances in 2012-13.”

“We understand and can sympathise with Miss Blackburn’s disappointment, and wish her well in her ambitions to gain qualification standards for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and the World Championships in 2015.’

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The full statement from Lisa Blackburn:

During the post Olympic year, experienced swimmers usually take a year off, focus on other aspects of their lives, follow a reduced training plan and may even choose to compete in other circuits of competition or a different sport rather than the same competitions year after year. This year I decided to continue to train in Bermuda and compete in some overseas Masters competitions for several reasons. These meets would give me a fresh outlook on swimming, an opportunity to race different people, allow me to travel to different places and most importantly attempt to break Masters World records all the while continuing to aim to swim as fast as possible.

With regards to the times and examples put forth by the BASA president Mr. Tim Petty, he has not provided a clear picture of my performances this year. He has opted to select results that are not indicative of my true performances over the past few weeks. The example he uses regarding CCCAN is not a fair or accurate example. My 200 breast time was slow, but he did not mention that I swam the 100 butterfly 10 minutes before this race. He also fails to mention that I raced a total of 13 times at this competition which included heats and finals. Anyone would be hard pressed to swim a best time with this heavy load of racing (which I don’t normally do). An experienced swimmer however, will understand what effort is required in order to win under these challenging circumstances.

Mr. Petty could have alternatively chosen to focus on my results from Coral Springs on June 22nd, where I swam a time of 1:12.79 in the 100 breast which is just over a second slower than my best time last year. Or he could have chosen to describe my time in the 50 breast from the Pan Am Masters where I swam a 33.86 which is only 0.4 seconds slower than my National record which I set last year and only 0.74 seconds slower than the World Championship ‘B’ qualification time. I think it is fitting to also mention that I swam a lifetime best in the 50 butterfly and the 100 freestyle at the Bermuda Nationals held in June at the new pool at National Stadium. I do continue to improve.

As National Coach Ben Smith has reported several times this past week, the competition in Costa Rica was at altitude, we travelled a day prior to the first day of the meet and there was a 3 hour time change. All of these factors will diminish every swimmers performance which was clearly evident by all of the results from CCCAN.

I would also like to clarify at this point that my own long course meter National record in the 100 breaststroke was set in 2012 (and not 3 years ago) in Bahamas with a time of 1:11.27. I also broke this record a total of 5 times over the course of 4 months last year between March and June.

In the fall of 2012 I questioned the selection process and criteria that was presented. I questioned why there would be two sets of standards for swimmers seeking to use a wild card. All swimmers are continuing to develop and reach the Olympic Games and as such we should all be afforded the same selection criteria regardless if we are in full time education or if we are subjectively classified as being a professional athlete or not. In past years and as far as I am aware, Bermuda has used all of the wild cards that they have earned from FINA. Unfortunately, with BASA’s new decisions the swimmers are losing out. Doesn’t Bermuda want to send as many competitive athletes as possible to major international events such as the World Championships?

With reference to the comments regarding my times from Canada, these were performed when I was training on a full time basis with a monthly stipend from the Canadian Government of $1500/month. This stipend allowed me to train, rest and compete at a very high level. By choice, I am currently working a full-time job, while continuing to train on my own, without a coach on deck and without the financial backing such as mentioned above. This leaves me with the only option available…..I have chosen to train on my own as best I can, with the means I have. I believe I am doing well all things considered.

In closing, I will reiterate that I have met the published selection criteria with the exception of not being enrolled in full-time education or being called a ‘professional athlete’. I would also like to thank my supporters, family and friends for their unwavering support. Congratulations to Roy-Allan for his qualification and to Rebecca on her nomination. I wish them well in Barcelona.

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Update 4.37pm: Tim Petty, President of BASA, responding to various comments made recently in the press issued this statement:

“On behalf of BASA I would like to make some final points about Ms. Blackburn’s most recent statements:

  • 1) Lisa would have been selected for Worlds, if she made the qualifying standard. She did not make the qualifying standard.
  • 2) Wild cards can be used at BASA’s discretion to allow a swimmer that has not made the qualifying time to attend the meet. BASA’s stance on wild cards is that they will be used for developing athletes as demonstrated by improvements in time, commitment to training and commitment to racing. The expectation is that an athlete who benefits from a wild card will make the qualifying standard outright for the next major festival. This is the strategy that allowed Roy to attend the Beijing Games in 2008, which undoubtedly led to his outright qualification and strong performance at London 2012.
  • 3) Lisa was made fully aware of BASA’s stance on wild cards back in the fall of 2012. She had no complaints and made no appeal.
  • 4) Note that no wild card is being used for any male athlete as it was deemed that, similar to Lisa, no male athletes met the requirements to warrant their attendance via a wild card.
  • 5) If Lisa wanted to make the Worlds qualifying time, she had every opportunity to attend higher caliber meets, and to train and prepare for a maximum performance to make that qualifying time. She chose a different strategy and did not make the qualifying time.
  • 6) Regardless of what events Lisa wishes to highlight, note that she has not made the qualifying time in any of them.

In addition, there are a couple of comments made by Lisa that we would like to respond to directly.

  • 1) Lisa said, and I quote..” During the post Olympic year, experienced swimmers usually take a year off, focus on other aspects of their lives, follow a reduced training plan and may even choose to compete in other circuits of competition or a different sport rather than the same competitions year after year.” Experienced swimmers that take a year off after the Olympics do not qualify for Worlds in the year after the Olympics – if they aren’t training, they will not qualify for their national team. To be clear, experienced swimmers such as those to whom Lisa is referring, still must make the qualifying standard to be selected to the meet. Should Bermuda (or any country) have a policy of sending athletes to Worlds that “take a year off”, “follow reduced training plans” or possibly compete in other sports in the 12 months prior to World championships? We know of no such sporting organization that would contemplate such a policy.
  • 2) “In past years and as far as I am aware, Bermuda has used all of the wild cards that they have earned from FINA. “ This is not correct. Since wildcards came into being prior to the 1996 Olympics, no wildcards were used for swimming for the 1996, 2000 or 2004 Olympics (for males or females); additionally, no wild cards were used for females at the 2012 Olympics.
  • 3) “ In closing, I will reiterate that I have met the published selection criteria with the exception of not being enrolled in full-time education or being called a ‘professional athlete” As per the above explanation, it should be clear that Lisa has not met the published selection criteria.

We find it disappointing that Lisa has chosen to give misleading information to the press regarding BASA’s selection policy, particularly after she was made aware of the criteria (as were all potential qualifiers) in the fall of last year.

This will be the final official statement from the BASA office. We would prefer to focus on the athletes preparing for the Natwest Island Games next week and the exciting events associated with that.

-

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Comments (41)

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  1. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    same old $h!t…
    Not what you know…but who you know!

  2. What Grinds My Gears says:

    Its sad to see that this type of $h!t doesn’t only exist in the BFA and BCB; now the BASA. Very sad for Bda Sports.

    • Foolishness says:

      Oh please. How did the BFA and the BCB get into this?

      If you aren’t good enough bow out gracefully.

  3. whatever says:

    Lisa’s one of the best swimmers the island has to offer and she has proved herself repeatedly. BASA discriminates on age (this is not the first time that Lisa has been snubbed for no other reason).

  4. longtail says:

    Millions of our $$$$ spent on new swimming facilities and this is the lopsided nonsense we get from the BASA: Bermuda would have better spent its money on a sandbox for this lot!

    • Olympic Swimmer says:

      what does money spent on a facility in Bermuda (which was just opened) have to do with a swimmer competing overseas.

  5. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Lisa…grow a pair and stop whining. Get out there and prove them all wrong by getting FASTER TIMES not .74 secs slower!

  6. More BDA BS says:

    I’m sure race had nothing to do with it… (sarcasm)

    • Ole says:

      I’s the PLP’s fault!!!

    • Olympic Swimmer says:

      Race had nothing to do with it. That doesn’t even make sense

  7. Robert Daniels says:

    seems like ‘out with the old in with the new’

  8. dedication says:

    Lisa from what I can tell is dedicating herself to the sport and showing results. If anyone were to work this hard of course they would want the chance to compete in major international events.

    I support Lisa and her passion. I don’t knock the Rebecca girl but I do knock the crap rationale that BASA is offering for not selecting Lisa.

  9. Ole says:

    I am unsure why this is controversial. She is 40+ , times have slowed ( naturally ) and her recent success against mediocre competition does not help her case.

  10. All In says:

    When Rebecca Heyliger has managed to beat the time of 40+ year old Blackburn she will have earned the right to compete in Blackburn’s place. Not before.
    This is both age discrimination and personal bias against a swimmer who grew up training in Canada and not in the close-knit circle of the BASA programme. As an avid athlete and sports fan who has represented Bermuda in international competition many times I am disgusted by BASA’s decision and by Tim Petty’s attempt at justifying it.
    Tim should be ashamed of himself. Rebecca Heyliger needs to step up and show that someone at BASA has an ounce of integrity; admit that she has not earned the right to compete for Bermuda in the World Championships and decline the opportunity.
    Very disappointing day for local sport

  11. gatsby says:

    Head to head, who is faster? Lisa or Rebecca?

  12. basaswimmer says:

    Lisa has trained hard all her life, albeit some of the time in Canada and should be treated with respect. She is being discriminated against because of her age, and because she isn’t part of that elite BASA crowd. Come on, be realistic, give the lady what she quite rightly deserves: a place on the team. Who else brought back that many gold medals?

  13. bir says:

    sorry for you Lisa its all politics girl…

  14. Olympic Swimmer says:

    There is a simple solution to this dilemma. Make the qualification time and you can compete. Why do Bermudians think she should be entitled to this trip because she trained hard. People who training 10 times harder will never get the opportunity to swim at such competitions.

    You make the time you go! Otherwise a competitor outside of their PRIME is NOT worth the investment

    • whatever says:

      So what you are saying is that we shouldn’t send Lisa or Rebecca?

    • Say what? says:

      So, according to your post it’s ok for Heyliger to go? She didn’t make the qualifying time either and is ranked even lower than Blackburn. Heyliger didn’t win a single individual medal in the 18+ category at CCCAN! As BASA states this was a “development” level meet with events going straight to finals and sometimes only 3 people in an event. Even with miminal competition, Heyliger did nothing at the meet and won 0 individual medals, yet Blackburn brought home 7 medals for Bermuda. I smell a rat! Send our BEST regardless of age….

      • Olympic Swimmer says:

        Ok – I will make this a lot easier for all to understand. The FINA World Championships allows all countries with NO qualifiers the ability to send 2 males and 2 females to compete as Wild Card athletes. It is up to the countries discretion to decide who and how many athletes they would like to send. Neither of you know anything about the criteria to compete as a Wild Card athlete. The most basic of requirements to be met are:

        – Training in a college or ELITE program (Rebecca Heyliger swims at USC which is top 5 university in the US. Lisa no longer swims at her T2 Aquatics Elite program where she was moving towards being a faster swimmer. Training in Bermuda does NOT qualify as training with an ELITE or College Swimming Program

        – Showing improvement in your TIMES (Heyliger has made considerable improvements in the last year and has swam personal bests. This condones positive movement towards making the qualification standards for future meets. Lisa has not swum a personal best time in 10 years)

        My initial comment had nothing to do with Heyliger. She should have nothing to do with this mess. I am all for the development of YOUNG and IMPROVING swimmers. Lisa knows she hasn’t met the requirements and has fabricated a huge mess for everyone involved. Winning medals at a lower level competition is no way to earn a ticket to the 2nd MOST MAJOR swim competition in the WORLD.

        @SAY WHAT – if you want to be so literal then you should look at the results of the competition. Some events that LISA swam had 3 – 6 people swimming, with times that wouldn’t have won the 13-14 girls. Heyliger swims in the BLUE RIBBON events which are the 50 and 100 freestyle. No matter where you travel those events will ALWAYS have formidable competition. Also Lisa would have peaked for this competition allowing her times to be slightly faster than usual. Heyliger would have treated this competition as training and would have not taken any rest…or in other words she is BEAT UP. Heyliger would not have rested for this competition due to her Worlds berth. All her focus will pertain towards Worlds and she will show Bermuda what she is capable of. She is very deserving of everything that she has received and she works hard in the classroom and pushes herself in swim training.

        • Just Curious says:

          Thanks “Olympic Swimmer” for your comment, made a lot of sense.
          I feel sorry for Lisa, not going to World Championship because that´s what all athletes train for but it has absolutely nothing to do with Rebecca Heyliger. She´s a young swimmer that fulfilled all the requirements to represent Bermuda at the big stage, so let´s be happy for her instead of all the other nonsense.
          Good luck to both swimmers in the future.

        • Yajokinbuh says:

          So what you’re saying is that a 40+ year oldl is expected to be in full time education? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Whoever you are, Olympic Swimmer, you must have the opportunity to not pay a mortgage in Bermuda, not have to work full time and not have to do anything but swim. If we can’t train at an elite level in Berrmuda, why do we have national coaches and an Olympic sized swimming pool?

          I cycled for Bermuda and I know that the world champs in any sport is the BEST OF THE BEST. It is not a development meet. Its not the time for us to be showcasing the fact that we have little girls who can swim in the pool. Its a meet for us to send our best. If Lisa Blackburn’s “DECLINE” is better than Heyliger’s “BEST” then Blackburn wins and Blackburn goes. I don’t know Blackburn from a hole in the wall but if she swims against 20 year olds and beats the speedos off of them then she’s one hell of an athlete. Tim Petty should be ashamed of himself throwing his athlete under the bus like that. That’s not how a NATIONAL SPORTS GOVERNING BODY acts towards its athletes.

          Blackburn for Canada and Blackburn for Bermuda are two different swimmers. I can admit that. But saying that she hasn’t had a personal best for 10 years is silly. Before Tyrone Smith came along, Brian Wellman was the best jumper Bermuda had. He couldn’t TOUCH his personal best today but if that man trained, trust me, he would beat the pants off these 20 year olds without ever reaching a personal best ever again. Lisa doesn’t have to have personal bests every week to be Bermuda’s best. And she IS Bermuda’s best.

          The Wild Card should be Lisa’s. There is no argument there. Unfortunately, BASA has thrown this Rebecca in the middle of controversy. She now has to bear the weight of a country on her back knowing that there are many (as evidenced by this thread) who believe she shouldn’t have been our representative. Even though the world championships is not a developmental meet (and I don’t care how much you or BASA want to argue that that’s what wild cards are for), BASA could’ve taken the high road and sent Rebecca for development purposes and Lisa for political (and deserved) purposes. Bermuda has two female spots. Instead these silly people want to act like they’re taking a stand and instead end up looking like spoiled babies with this back and forth.

          BASA needs a marketing executive or a PR company. I thought the BBA was bad. Cycling has NOTHING on swimming when it comes to screwing over its best athletes.

          • Olympic Swimmer says:

            40 is old to be competing at an Elite level. The requirements are to be in EITHER college or an ELITE swimming program. If you cannot meet those requirements than you are NOT eligible to participate under BASA’s rules. Lisa is well aware of these rules and understands these rules, but has chosen to ignore them, just as you have chosen to not fully read what I wrote.

            A 50 meter pool and National coaches do not equate to Elite level training. They are two significant tools towards training at an Elite level, but far from enough to reach one’s true potential. Most every country has a National coach for each sport, and for your information, not a SINGLE current Bermudian Olympian trains in Bermuda due to the fact that optimal training quality can not be reached there. If you were to take a look at other small countries as well, most of their Elite athletes also train elsewhere.

            Lisa Blackburn’s decline is not better than Heyliger’s best, so therefore, you do not know what you are talking about.

            Clearly there is an argument that the Wild card does NOT belong to Lisa. Despite what you think, and your opinion of the matter, she does not meet the criteria. Period. You do not know her times, you do not know who Rebecca is, and clearly you know nothing about swimming.

            I know Brian Wellman very well, and asked him that VERY question if he trained, would he make the QUALIFICATION for the Olympics. Key word: Qualification. The Bermuda Track and Field Association is not sending Brian Wellman to World Championships as an athlete. Point Blank. Brian has now gone to coaching the new and upcoming Bermudian athletes, because he sees the potential in our YOUTH. Wellman can now attend the Olympics and World Championships as a coach for Bermuda because he understands that his best days are behind him.

            If everyone wants more athletes going to these major international competitions for political purposes and to play “nice” then provide the monetary means by which to do so. Otherwise, save the events for the qualified and developing only.

  15. youwho says:

    why is this lisa lady making a stink to the public…. to make everyone feel sorry for her? They are giving a young aspiring athlete an opportunity, in her home turf to compete. Get over it!!!

  16. Young Bermudian says:

    Lisa is 40+ years old and has her experience behind her, Rebecca is 20 years old and is a young Bermudian bringing success to her island why wouldn’t they give her this opportunity? Many adults say to us we need experience in order to succeed and progress, Lisa has hers and now its Rebecca’s turn.

  17. Just Be Real says:

    This is ridiculous, and have any of you who’ve left negative comments think about how it harms Rebecca? She deserves an opportunity I agree with Young Bermudian. Crying to the press makes list look like a sore loser

  18. Unknown says:

    Most of you are saying Lisa deserves this… yet I’m sure NONE of you know how hard Rebecca has worked at this for the majority of her life. She has dedicated her life to swimming. Maybe neither of them made the qualifications but Rebecca was chosen… Lisa, move on and stop making this issue a public one. Rebecca, we wish you luck and know that you will give it your all regardless of the outcomes.

    • Thinker says:

      Finally nice to hear someone positive! I know Rebecca works hard, and let’s make sure she is not overlooked. Lisa needs to stop trying to re-shape criteria to fit her situation. She is never happy with the outcome. Good luck to Rebecca!!!

  19. Makes me laugh says:

    Wild cards shouldn’t be free trips in any sport. Yajokinbuh should agree with that if he really cycled for Bermuda but maybe he feels he should have been given a free ride too..

    Athletes need to make the qualifying standard on their own instead of relying on a free pass. Sounds to me like BASA wants to use wild cards sparingly (probably to encourage people to make the proper qualifying time) and to support developing swimmers such as Rebecca, not as a handout to someone who is past her prime and admits that she hasn’t trained to the level she was doing last year (in other words no improvement).

    If Lisa wanted to qualify for World Championships, why did she decide to go to a low level meet in Costa Rica when she could have gone to a top class meet with tough competition where she may have had a chance to make the qualifying time? Looks to me like she wanted glory of medals and misguided public support because she knew she wasn’t fast enough to make it on her own.

    Sad that all these people who clearly aren’t involved in swimming want to criticize without knowing facts or even the sport. Mr. Petty is a volunteer who no doubt has spent more time than anyone on this chat thinking about the issues at hand. Why do you think you know better? Because Lisa won a few races at a meet for age groupers?!

    Makes me laugh if it weren’t so sad.

    • Say what? says:

      Rebecca IS getting a free trip….
      To all you bloggers (and swimmers) who think you know swimming think about these facts;
      The criteria is posted;
      If Qualification Time Standard is not met
      The FINA points system will be used for qualification/selection.
      Times for consideration must be achieved Long Course Meters in a FINA recognized qualifying meet
      Selection shall be based on the swimmer with the highest FINA Point score in an event, in conjunction with the criteria previously mentioned.
      BASA then goes on to say that that qualifiers should be within 25 FINA ponits of their qualified swim. Has our male qualified swimmer swum within 25 FINA points of his qualification time? Is anyone checking? If he has, great! And more importantly what swim are they using to select Rebecca? What are her FINA points?
      Then BASA states the greyest area of it all…full time education or a professional swimmer…

      Seems to me @olympicswimmer seems to think the criteria is based on the greyest area of it all and I quote;
      “The most basic of requirements to be met are:
      – Training in a college or ELITE program (Rebecca Heyliger swims at USC which is top 5 university in the US. Lisa no longer swims at her T2 Aquatics Elite program where she was moving towards being a faster swimmer. Training in Bermuda does NOT qualify as training with an ELITE or College Swimming Program
      – Showing improvement in your TIMES (Heyliger has made considerable improvements in the last year and has swam personal bests. This condones positive movement towards making the qualification standards for future meets. Lisa has not swum a personal best time in 10 years)”

      This whole thing is a grand mess because the first points on the real selection criteria document were not upheld.

      If Lisa can win at an “Age Group” meet as you seem to think CCCAN is, then where are all of Rebecca’s medals? If it’s so easy how come Lisa can place 4th in the 100 free, a “Blue Ribbon” (lol)event (immediately after a 400IM) and Rebecca’s time from her relay lead off would have placed her 6-8th in the same race? (and Lisa specializes in Breaststroke). Translation; Win at AG meet=stay home, Can’t win at AG meet=go to Worlds

      It’s all joke and the only people loosing out are the swimmers. BASA could have allieviated this whole mess if they announced the team in a timely fashion (and definitely not the day before the entry deadline or upon the return of the swimmers returning from CCCAN), and selected the 2 best swimmers according to FINA points (that’s how the rest of the world selects international teams). Seems to me BASA provided Rebecca with the knowledge that she would be selected to Worlds much earlier than the official announcement as well. With an announcement like this I am sure the media would approach the country’s best female swimmer for a quote rather than the othe way around.

      In the end there seem to be 2 selection criteria; one set for Lisa and another set for the rest.

      Let’s all just sing kumbaya and give everyone a turn….

      • Olympic Swimmer says:

        @say what?

        you read what you wanted to read. what do you know about taper?…nothing. Rebecca used the meet as TRAINING and Lisa used the meet to rest and scoop up medals in any and every event she could get her hands on. A 1.14 mid in her main event is 4+ seconds off the B Worlds qualification standard.

        CCCAN IS an age group meet. When a competition has 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 and 18+ that makes it age group.

        Our male qualifier has MADE the Qualification standard so you can stop right there with that.

        Lisa didn’t meet ANY aspects of the criteria which is why she was not selected. Ashley Yearwood was the #1 selection but is suffering from an injury.

        I gave you two parts of the criteria which you clearly don’t understand that were NOT met by Lisa.

        Lets face it – if you actually knew anything about swimming you would be involved…but your not so dont pretend to be.

        If you want more people involved then fundraise. There is only one criteria and Lisa didnt meet any of it.

        And lastly – developing athletes may only be afforded the Wild Card ONCE and afterwards are expected to make the qualifications. Lisa was given one to attend the Pan American games which she did NOT qualify for and then continued to NOT qualify for anything else.

        She is trying to tear down a system that has taken a long time to build. Canada doesn’t want her anymore and she is doing the same thing to Bermuda.

        • Point of information from overseas... says:

          Lisa did qualify for the Pan-Am Games. I believe Bermuda Amateur Swimming Association set their own standard for her races faster than the qualifying time for even the London Olympic Games. Lisa handily met the Pan-Am Games time but not the super fast BASA time. Go figure. She didn’t use a wild card.

          • Olympic Swimmer says:

            The BASA times for Pan Ams were not faster than London times. They were the Worlds 2011 Qualification times.

            Not making BASAs times are considered not qualifying. Our country set the standard and thats what you have to meet. Most countries set their own standard. You think USA or Brazil used the Pan Am standards.

            The standard was pushed higher in order to get swimmers prepared to make the London Olympics if they hadn’t done so prior to the competition.

            The same thing will happen in this next quadrennial. Qualification times will get faster and the masses will train harder in order to make the cut.

  20. looks like sour grapes says:

    i don’t know all details here other than what is posted here and half of that is probably biased.! but looks like this Lisa thinks should go to the worlds competition and is very angry that a younger improving swimmer is going instead. It syas that wild card is to help developing athelets so why would it be used to send somebody who never improved in 10 years? also why would a team be announced early – surely peopel want as much time as they can to make a qualifying time. or maybe makes me laugh is right and lisa knew she was too slow to make the time4 so cooks up trouble to make excuse for real reason she’s not going – that she’s not good enough..

  21. Diana says:

    Lisa wants a different selection criteria then what everyone else has. Bottom line is Rebecca fills it, she does not. She knew this ahead of time, this is not a ‘surprise’, yet she felt she could go and open her mouth to the press and change it. What a bad example she sets. Be the athlete you claim to be and the role model you should be in that you follow the standards and rules set out by the organization of the sport you’re in. Her wanting to have everything change for her is arrogant and unsportsmanlike. I for one will be cheering on Rebecca and I hope Bermuda rallies around this young talented athlete who has fulfilled the requirements set out to obtain the wild card.

    • Um... says:

      Is Lisa the only one that this criteria excludes? That’s what it looks like to me. All the kids are in school or able to train full time. I am sure Lisa has bills and a mortgage/rent and no parents to support her so I am sure she has to work full time. Working full time and still swimming so well is a wonderful example to set. Work ethic is always a good thing to have. Also, standing up for what you believe in is a wonderful example to set.

      The FINA point system is the selection criteria. Then this strange thing that excludes only one swimmer is put in there to exclude one person? That isn’t fair. If the “requirements” to get a wild card include being in school or swimming all day long, the “requirements” are silly and should be reviewed.

      • Olympic Swimmer says:

        Life isn’t fair

        Lisa was not the only one excluded from a wild card. The #2 male was also denied and he made no fuss because he understood the RULES.

        Lisa’s bills are her own issue. If she cant figure out how to be a professional and pay the bills then thats something she will have to deal with herself.

  22. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself Diana!

  23. Respect Anyone? says:

    Have a little respect for one of the countries best swimmers. Not only does she go away to several competitions and win, but she beats the living pants off everyone who is younger than her!
    You are all a bunch of jealous people who have lost sight of your own dreams long ago!
    All I have to say is the comments on here are disgusting! Makes me sick!

  24. no boss says:

    looks like “respect anyone?” misses the point. the jealous person here may be lisa blackburn. she appears to be jealous of the up and comer! what a terrible role model she has turned out to be.

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