UPPERLANDS woman Wendy Houvenaghel has spoken out on her frustration of missing out on a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics.
Houvenaghel missed out on her golden moment as she was not chosen for any of the rides for the Team GB and NI Womens Team Pursuit Event last weekend.
Team GB and NI romped to victory in the event and had few problems in defeating their opponents from qualifying right through to the final on Saturday evening.
The decision to omit the Upperlands woman from starting the event for the team had been made at a training camp but team manager Paul Manning had reassured Houvenaghel that changes would be made after qualification.
Nonetheless, Houvenaghel failed to feature for Team GB and NI at any stage of the games and her Olympic dreams were dashed.
Houvenaghel revealed to the News Letter that one of team members was violently ill prior to the semi-final.
“The Doctor was in our apartment at 2.30 and was assesing one of our riders who was vomiting and was sick and therefore was not at one hundred percent effectiveness but the decision had already been put through to the organisers and sheets printed so management had to go with that line-up regardless that there was a weaker rider and I got told to get ready for the final.”
However, 30 minutes before the start of the final against the USA, Wendy received a devaststing blow that she was not taking part in the final.
Houvenaghel was absolutely gutted at the news and quietly packed her bags and departed from the Velodrome.
“It was a devstating decision that was outside of my control and with it went my gold medal.”
The 37 year old had spoken previously of her determination to feature at London 2012 and had hoped that the games would be her final swansong in track cycling.
However, she admitted that she will re-evaluate her options and may return to the sport.
“I am secure in my own ability and what I can do and I am not going to make any decision at the moment about my future in cycling.”
“My family have been absolutely awesome and thanks to them I’ve been in much better shape than I thought I was going to be after such a devastating blow.”
The Upperlands woman was extremely grateful for all of the messages and best wishes she has received from everyone at home.
“The support that they’ve given me has helped me become the athlete I am and to get to this point in my career.”