Athletics: Hunt to fill élite coaching role reaches crucial stage

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The Independent Online

British athletics has reached a critical point in its search for a new performance director as if it cannot secure a suitable candidate within the next two to three weeks it may not do so for another four years.

Dave Moorcroft, the chief executive of UK Athletics, said there were "two to three people'' considered up to the task of directing élite athletes en route to the Beijing Olympics, but so far they had not responded to the challenge of replacing the outgoing director, Max Jones.

UKA was charged with creating a new, streamlined role four months ago following the report into British athletics by Sir Andrew Foster. A worldwide search produced a short list of six, but none was judged appropriate.

Earlier this month, Charles van Commenee, who coached Denise Lewis and Kelly Sotherton, accepted the position of performance director for the Dutch federation. Nor will the position be going to the former triple jumper Keith Connor, currently performance director for Athletics Australia.

"No one has been offered the job, but I think the person does exist and when they are available we can offer them something,'' Moorcroft said.