Heather Fell disappointed at missing out on Rio World Cup event
HEATHER FELL is determined to prove Great Britain selectors wrong again for dropping her from the line-up for next week's modern pentathlon World Cup event in Rio de Janeiro.
Fell's dander is up after finishing as top Briton at last month's World Cup opener in California. She had hoped that would secure her a place in a four-strong GB women's squad.
Instead of which a 'disappointed but doubly-determined' Fell has been axed along with Jo Muir from the quartet which competed at Palm Springs at the back end of February.
The 30-year-old Devonian ended up ninth and as best Brit in the USA, having started horribly and at one stage been lying in 27th position before fighting her way back to a top-10 finish in the five sport tournament.
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Fell's Great Britain team-mates finished well-adrift: Kate French was 19th, Kate Burke 21st and 18-year-old World Cup debutante Jo Muir was 30th.
Tavistock's Fell and Scot Muir are replaced by London Olympic silver medallist Sam Murray and world champion Mhairi Spence, who join up with Burke and French for the plane bound for Brazil (Mar 20-24).
Beijing Games silver medallist Fell admitted she would have 'loved to be competing in Rio' and felt she had done enough to persuade the selectors she still had the desire, drive and world-class quality to make the cut.
Fell's frustration at being overlooked replicates last year's angst when she was ditched from the Team GB modern pentathlon squad, despite being higher in the world rankings than her rivals for the two women's places.
Then, although clearly upset, Fell didn't rage at the selection policy, but simply vowed to do her best to win over the GB bosses.
Now Fell feels, having shone for her country in the US, her efforts have not been rewarded.
However, the former world number one will not give up her GB place without a fight.
She told Herald Sport: "Am I upset at being left out? Yes. Do I want to go to Brazil? Yes. Am I deterred? No, I am not.
"I thought I'd done enough in Palm Springs to get in the squad for Rio, but that's the way it goes. The selectors have the right to pick whoever they feel will do well.
"My performance overall in the States wasn't perfect, but as a statement of where I am in 2013, I thought it stood up to the test.
"Modern pentathlon is more than a balancing act. To get all the disciplines gelling at the same time comes with experience and determination. I've got plenty of both."
Fell, instead of celebrating, ran the Bath half-marathon – her first – on her 30th birthday earlier this month in a time of one hour, 26.18 minutes.
She added: "There are two more events left in the World Cup in Chengdu in China next month (April 17-21) and in Budapest in May (8-12).
"Then there is the World Cup final in Russia in May, the European Championships (11-17 July) and then the World Championships in Taipei in August (15-21). I would love to compete in as many of those as possible, particularly the Europeans and the worlds.
"I feel strong, fit and just as determined to win things as I did five or six years ago. Don't rule me out of anything."