Irish champ “let down” by Commonwealth Games team snub

Posted on: January 5th, 2018

Gareth McKee MTB

The Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games cycling team was revealed this week. An interesting line-up of riders is selected for the Gold Coast in April. However, multiple national champion Gareth McKee was not named on the team. And he has expressed his disappointment (Photo: Toby Watson)


Gareth McKee not selected for Commonwealth Games MTB


Irish national champion Gareth McKee has expressed his disappointment at not being picked for the Commonwealth Games.

The Northern Ireland team was named this week and is comprised of road and track riders.

However, McKee has proven himself the best in the country at XC MTB. Despite winning five national titles in recent years he is not on the team.

No off-road riders have been selected for the Games on the Gold Coast in April.

McKee took to social media to express his frustration. However, in a dignified statement he said he would focus on big goals still to come.

“After the disappointment of missing out on the Glasgow Games with a knee injury, I have trained hard since then and have worked hard for the Gold Coast,” he said.

“I did everything in my power to make the dream happen. I achieved the qualification standard on multiple occasions as well as being five time Irish Champion.”

He said he “could not have done anymore both on Irish soil and internationally”.

“Yet I was not deemed good enough to have a place on the Northern Ireland team.

“I am upset and disheartened and feel unbelievably let down. This is an huge disappointment not just on a personal level but also for the mountain biking community.

“The failure to include the XCO mountain biking discipline in the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games team is a blow (to) the whole sport.

“This all filters down for the youth coming into the sport if they have no ambition to aspire too, they will consequently change direction and move discipline.

“The Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast 2018, was my big goal.

“Looking forward I am going to have to re-evaluate plans for 2018 and aim higher and represent my country for the European XCO championships in Glasgow and World Championships in Switzerland.

“I feel it is important that Northern Ireland/Ireland has representation at the top level of the sport.

“Having expressed my feelings I hope that selectors might reflect on my points for any future games to give a more balanced team across different disciplines.

“While the disappointment is very real I am highly motivated to improve as an athlete and represent cycling and my country in a honourable way.”