Canadian 800m runner Jessica Smith is listed on the Canadian Olympic team as of Monday after filing an appeal to the country’s governing body for athletics. Smith, who did not automatically qualify for a Rio spot, will be one of two women, along with Melissa Bishop, on the 800m squad.
Update (July 26): Athletics Canada told Canadian Running that Smith’s inclusion on the team is for administrative purposes until a decision (today or Wednesday) on the appeal is reached. Until the status of the appeal is determined, she is on the team only for precautionary measures as a roster list was due by July 24.
Athletes who finished in the top two at nationals in Edmonton in early July automatically qualified for the team provided they had standard. A committee decided the fate of any athlete with standard who finished third through eighth. If an athlete still was not named, they had the option to appeal, which was what Smith did.
The 26-year-old North Vancouver native represented Canada at the London Games in 2012 and hit standard for Rio in 2015.
Details of her appeal have yet to be made public other than her inclusion on the official team roster for the Olympics. Athletics Canada told Canadian Running on Monday that a decision on the appeal would be made on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
Meanwhile, Rachel Cliff’s appeal to Athletics Canada was denied. Smith was not immediately available for comment as of Monday afternoon.