Britain's rhythmic gymnastics team competes in the Olympic test event in London.
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Britain's rhythmic gymnastics team competes in the Olympic test event in London.

Story highlights

Great Britain's rhythmic gymnastics team win crucial appeal

Team can now compete in the 2012 London Olympics

British Gymnastics had ruled they missed qualification target

Independent arbitrator overturns that decision

CNN —  

Great Britain’s rhythmic gymnastics team has won an appeal against a decision by its own federation to exclude them from the London 2012 Olympics.

British Gymnastics ruled that the team had missed an agreed qualifying standard at the Olympic test event in North Greenwich area January.

But the team appealed to independent arbitrator Sports Resolutions UK, who overturned the decision Monday.

The British Olympic Association has now to inform the world governing body of gymnastics, the FIG, that Britain will be taking up the host nation spot.

The argument between the rhythmic gymnastics squad and its federation centered on the target of 45.223 points.

The British team fell agonizingly short of that mark in qualifying where it was intended to be met to mirror the Olympic experience.

But in the final day of the test event, the team scored 47.200 and appealed the decision on that basis.

Team captain Rachel Smith said they will now focus on making Britain “proud” at the summer Games.

“We went into the competition thinking we could get the score on three days and we’re really sad that it happened but on the bright side it has raised the profile of the sport,” she told the Press Association.

“We want to prove to everyone that we do deserve to be there and to make the country proud.”

British Gymnastics has accepted the appeal decision.