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Yachting NZ faces criticism for Olympic selections amid allegations of bias and inconsistent criteria application

yachting NZ news

Yachting NZ has come under scrutiny for its handling of Olympic team selections after nominating Jo Aleh and Molly Meech for the Paris Games despite their failure to meet the set performance standards.

According to Yachting NZ’s criteria, athletes are required to achieve a top 10 finish at specific selection regattas to qualify for consideration, a benchmark Aleh and Meech did not meet.

Despite this their nomination was approved by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC), raising questions about the transparency and consistency of the selection process, according to a report in state media.

Yachting NZ, known for its secretive approach to sharing selection criteria, is accused of bending rules and favouring certain athletes, leading to dissatisfaction and calls for more transparent governance.

Further complicating the selection controversy, other sailors have expressed their concerns about the fairness and integrity of the process, especially when comparing the treatment received by different athletes under similar circumstances.

One notable case involves kitefoiler Lukas Walton-Keim, who has appealed his non-nomination, citing potential misuse of the “emerging talent” clause that seemed to favour other candidates.

The controversies highlight the broader implications of Yachting NZ’s selection practices, suggesting a need for an overhaul to ensure fairness and uphold the principles of natural justice in athlete nominations. The ongoing disputes and the subsequent fallout highlight a growing distrust among athletes and stakeholders towards Yachting NZ’s management of Olympic qualifications.

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