Petition to revive Bath gymnasts' London Olympics dream
A petition has been launched to get Bath duo Lynne Hutchison and Francesca Fox to the 2012 Olympics.
The girls and their Great Britain rhythmic gymnastics team-mates fell agonisingly short of a qualifying mark set for them at a test event last week.
The team, who are based at the University of Bath, were bidding to become the first-ever British representatives in an Olympic rhythmic gymnastics event.
But their dream was shattered as they missed the target score of 45.223 but just 0.273.
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As host nation, Great Britain were granted a spot at the Games, but the British Olympic Association insisted they prove they were good enough to compete with a strong score at the London Prepares test event held at the O2 Arena.
Now an online petition has been started to get the Bath Rhythmic Gymnastics club pair and GB team-mates Jade Faulkner, Louisa Pouli, Rachel Smith and Georgina Cassar to the games.
More than 1,500 people have already signed the petition in support of the girls.
Last week's result was a bitter pill to swallow for the team, who are entirely self-funded and train six days a week at the university.
Hutchison's father Brian, who has supported the group financially along with the rest of the team's parents, said the team were devastated upon hearing their fate.
He said: "Lynne was absolutely gutted and the whole group was in tears when they found out.
"They needed 82 per cent of last year's winning World Championship score and ended with 81.5 per cent. We are talking about the tiniest of margins.
"It's a case of the smallest thing not quite working correctly. Lynne told me she had a knot in her ribbon and that hasn't happened for months.
"With something like a knot, it costs you points right through the routine. It's just really difficult to take at the moment.
"They have all worked so hard. It's frustrating to miss out like this."