At least 19 British athletes will be told they cannot take their place at the sport’s showpiece event despite qualifying through the world rankings. “UK Athletics make us feel like the shittest athletes in the world,” said Lina Nielsen, Britain’s No 2-ranked 400 metres hurdler. “I feel like I am being robbed.”

Furious British athletes have accused the national federation of “stealing” their chance to compete at next month’s World Championships, with UK Athletics set to rip up their invitations.

Nielsen is one of a host of British athletes who will be sent invitations by World Athletics to compete in Budapest next month. The governing body overhauled its qualification system three years ago in an attempt to create a fairer system where half of athletes would qualify for major championships through hitting automatic qualification standards and half through the world rankings.

However, UK Athletics has effectively overruled the global body, deciding to reject any invitation for athletes who have not also reached the required standard.

Nielsen is ranked 27th in the world this year, with 40 places available for her event at the Worlds. She will receive a World Athletics invite to compete based on that world ranking, but UK Athletics is due to reject it because her best time this summer is 0.06 seconds outside the automatic qualification standard.

“I don’t think it should be their decision to make,” she said. “It feels like they are stealing it from me. Who do you think you are to decline it on behalf of the athletes? It doesn’t help the betterment of the sport in our country, which I think is dying anyway.”

Joshua Zeller finished fifth over 110m hurdles at the World Championships on his senior international debut last year, but will see his World Athletics invitation rejected for the same reason. “It just sucks,” he said.

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