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Sports Talk Wednesday, 24 July, 2002, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
Is judo team selection fair?
Samantha Lowe's reinstatement to the England team finally ends Kate Howey's Commonwealth Games dream.

Has the right decision been made?


In the latest instalment of a protracted selection saga, Kate Howey has been dropped from the England judo team, and rising star Samantha Lowe reinstated.

The initial squad announcement in June had originally rewarded Lowe, who won at the British Open in April, with a place in the team, and gave Howey reserve spot.

But Howey appealed, arguing that her experience should not be overlooked, and was awarded a place at Lowe's expense by the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel.

Twenty-year-old Lowe then launched her own appeal, and succeeded in winning back her place in the squad.

Is the resolution satisfactory?

This debate is now closed. A selection of your emails appears below.

Kate had an unfortunate injury prior to these championships, but she did know the criteria for selection. It was bad luck that she didn't make it, but the British Judo Association had made it clear who should represent England. They did not do themselves or the team any favours by casting doubt on their original decision. All Kate should do now is wish Samantha the best of luck in her attempts to secure gold.
David Rainford,England

It's a shame that this fiasco had to happen, as it reflects badly on all concerned. I do feel sorry for Kate Howey. She has done great things for women's Judo in the UK, and has had an unfortunate time recently with injuries.

But once the selection had been made, it should have been accepted by everyone. The selection committee should have taken all necessary factors into account when making their initial decision, and then stood by it.

open quote
It should have been decided on the mat, with a fight-off
end quote
Peter, England

What remains now is to put this (and the unfortunate behaviour of 'supporting' members of the team) behind us and get on with the judo. Let's hope Samantha Lowe merits the trust the selection committee originally expressed.
Richard Godivala, UK

Samantha Lowe met the selection criteria and is a rising star. Kate Howey is a great champion, fully fit and able to compete at the highest level - it's a very difficult decision to make.

It should have been decided on the mat, with a fight-off. This would have settled the matter and we could all enjoy the judo. Now this will rumble on and on.
Peter, England

There are two sides to this story. Whereas Howey is one of the best fighters the BJA have produced, she hasn't been producing the results these last 7-8 months as she has been injured, but you cannot discount her as she has a wealth of experience.

Lowe these past eight months has produced the results and improved tenfold. Both fighters knew the selection process, and unfortunately Kate didn't do enough over the last few months.

Samantha Lowe met all the criteria for selection and Kate Howey didn't. As with all sports we need new up and comming talent. Kate has been a fantastic ambassador for the sport and should support Samantha and the British Judo Association's decision.
Darren Buche,England

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24 Jul 02 | Judo
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