My Week: Dave Collins, performance director of UK Athletics on a golden week at the World Championships

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The Independent Online


I spend the morning checking all the entries are OK, that there are no changes in the timetable and what the levels of humidity are. Then, for the first time in British history, two of the men's athletes are through to the high jump final. Then we have two women through to the final of the women's 400m – Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders.


It's another day to live by the schedule. I watch the men's 400m hurdles and the women's 400m hurdles where I think all the athletes all did very well. I keep notes. I also try to keep moving around to stop getting sunburnt. After every race I go down to the control room to make sure there are no objections to the race.


This morning, like every other, I make sure the athletes get time with their coaches and start their days with an intensive warm-up. I try to support the athletes, but it's also important that they get time alone with their coaches. It's another emotional roller coaster today as I watch four athletes progress and four other athletes get eliminated. But the big event is the women's 400m final, with Christina winning and Nicola second. The mixed response to Christina's success is unfortunate. It's been made clear that she had no intention to gain advantage when she infringed the drug-testing laws. It was all reported last year, when she received her penalty. It's in the past and people should celebrate her success without innuendo. I'm also pleased for Nicola and her coach, especially because she struggled with an injury recently.


It's supposed to be a rest day, but not for me. I start an early meeting with foreign coaches to discuss some changes we want to make in the UK. I speak to consultants about new technology we could use. This event makes it a good time to have these meetings as everyone you need is here. Today I also have my meeting with the relay coaches to discuss what selection we will make for the weekend.


This evening one of our athletes loses her shoe as she runs the 1500m. I hold a protest and watch a video replay and look at the law book to see how can make a case, but unfortunately I cannot get her through to the final. I think we can expect many more golden medals for the Olympics in 2012. We just have to worry first about the Bejing Games next year. We'll do one Olympic Games at a time.