Balogh awaits Games fate

Olympic gold medallist Suzy Balogh could know her Commonwealth Games fate by the end of the week after a panel was established to hear her appeal.


Balogh is contesting her omission from the Australian shooting team nominated for the Delhi Games in October after teenager Laetisha Scanlan was controversially chosen for the women’s trap event ahead of her.

Australian Shooting International (ASI) on Monday named a three-man panel chaired by Steven McEwen QC and including David Tillett and Peter Quire to hear 2004 Olympic champion Balogh’s appeal.

“The panel will commence work immediately on the appeal and a decision could come as early as the end of this week,” said ASI chief executive Nick Sullivan.

The national selectors opted for 17-year-old Scanlan ahead of the seasoned Balogh as the second women’s trap shooter behind top qualifier Stacey Roiall who claimed automatic selection.

Balogh finished a narrow one point ahead of Scanlan in qualifying and Sullivan said that left the decision in the hands of the selectors.

Balogh, 37, is looking to add to her three Commonwealth medals – a gold and two bronze – won at two previous Games appearances.

And she believed her qualifying result should be decisive.

“I’m appealing because I finished second and I believe that I am the best medal chance for Australia at the Commonwealth Games,”

Balogh told AAP when omitted earlier this month.

“It is a quantitative sport, why select it on a qualitative basis?”

Sullivan said ASI had been prepared for an appeal.

“Given that the selection criteria for the second team place allowed for some discretion by the selectors, there was bound to be an appeal and so this is not unexpected,” he said.

“In fact the appeals process provides an opportunity to ensure the selectors followed the guidelines set down, ensuring the process is fair and transparent.

“The panel contains extensive experience, and will assess all possible evidence and information before announcing their decision.”