No official decisionhas been made but Seb Coe’s “gut feeling” that Rory McIlroy will take the final decision on who he represents in the 2016 Olympics - should he qualify - will be his alone.
It’s no great surprise.
The Irish Times quotes him as saying:
“It is very important that Rory has the ultimate say on where and how he plays and I can say this without even having this conversation with Pat (Hickey, Olympic Council of Ireland president) that we are both of the view that it is up to him to decide and we will abide by what decision he makes,” said Coe, who was in Dublin to present Ireland’s five Olympic medal winners with commerative International Olympic Committee pins.
“I am an Olympian and I want to see the best athletes of their generation in Olympic sports competing so I just want to see him there. I don’t have a personal choice here. The athletes have the personal choice.”
As for the drastic option of playing under a neutral flag, Coe put up his hands:
“I think we’re going into hugely hypothetical areas. It is hypothetical because you’re asking me about a judgment that has still to be made,” he added.
“I haven’t spoken to Rory McIlroy nor would I. That would not be the appropriate thing. Let him make his judgment and then, as and when he decides what he wants to do, we will then figure out and support and figure it all out. It’s really not that complicated. I don’t really want to add any more issues to it. It’s actually quite straightforward. He will make a judgment, and whatever judgment he makes we will support.”
Speaking to BBC, Coe added:
“It’s going to be a tough one but my gut instinct is that it’s up to Rory to make the decision…”
on 2013-05-08 08:29 by Brian Keogh
InsidetheGames.biz quotes Pat Hickey on the matter. As expected, the OCI chief explains what we knew all along, it’s up to McIlroy to make a decision.
“Whichever country Rory decides to play for the other NOC (National Olympic Committee) will fully support him,” said Hickey, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee’s ruling Executive Board.
“Seb said that if he decides to play for Ireland then he will have the full blessing of the BOA and I can tell you that if he declares for Britain then the OCI will be backing him.
“Our first priority is to make sure that the athlete is happy.
“Rory is no different to any other athlete in Ireland who has a British passport - they have the choice and can decide who they represent.”
As for all that “Rory can carry the tricolour if he declares for us” nonsense, Hickey again denied ever making the comments reported by the Daily Telegraph.
Brendan O’Brien in the Irish Examiner reports:
“Never ever did I say that and it doesn’t come into it. Seb and I will respect the young man’s wish and if he goes for Great Britain we are very happy with that and if he goes with Ireland then the British Olympic Committee will be very happy with that. But it is the young man’s choice and there will be no politics in it.”