London 2012

Fresh start for Rio

New man at the top as Van Commenee steps down

Last Updated: 12/09/12 9:02am

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Charles van Commenee: Stepping down as head coach

Charles van Commenee: Stepping down as head coach

UK Athletics will announce on Thursday a new coaching team to guide the track and field team on the road to Rio.

It comes after tough-talking Dutchman Charles van Commenee confirmed he will step down as head coach.

The 54-year-old is sticking to his promise to move on if the British track and field team failed to meet his own target of eight medals at the London Olympics.

"Charles has done an excellent job preparing British Athletics for the 2012 Olympic Games. "
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It means Britain's track and field athletes will have a new man at the top for the run-up to the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and the World Championships in London the following year.


Niels de Vos, UK Athletics chief executive, had been aware of Van Commenee's likely decision, despite the offer of a new contract, and already had an alternative plan up his sleeve.

De Vos said: "Charles has done an excellent job preparing British Athletics for the 2012 Olympic Games. We have spoken daily for the last four years and have discussed the post-2012 position almost as often.

"He and I have always been aware of the possibility of him leaving and we are confident that our long term plan will enable us to continue building on the success we achieved in London.

"There is no doubt Charles has helped to transform our culture, and we can now look forward to further success under the leadership of a new team."


Van Commenee will leave the organisation when his contract expires in December and the new coaching team is expected to have a different structure to the current set-up.

British athletes won six medals in London, two short of the target, and although four were golds - two for Mo Farah plus Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford - Van Commenee has stuck to his word.

He said: "Niels and I have worked hard to implement accountability as it is vital to the culture of elite sport, and this has been absolutely central to what we have achieved here in a short space of time.

"Whilst I am thankful for the kind comments and wishes I have received in recent weeks, I believe my decision has the interests of British athletics at its heart in sustaining this culture.

"I am happy the future is looking promising with the talent that is about to break through now. But now it needs the new energy and approach by the new leadership team through to 2017."

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