Athletics track must stay, says GB coach
Thursday 20 January 2011
It remains to be seen whether the track at the 2012 Olympic Stadium will be ripped up and the centrepiece of the London Games turned into an athletics-free zone for Tottenham Hotspur – a prospect described yesterday by Charles van Commenee as "ridiculous". "I can't think of any capital in Europe that doesn't have a stadium where you can organise major championships in athletics," the head coach of UK Athletics said. "The capital of Albania maybe?"
What is certain, as the fate of the showpiece stadium hangs in the balance, is that there will be gaps on the track – gaping holes in the Great Britain team competing on it.UK Athletics announced the first set of provisional selection standards for the home Olympics yesterday – for 10,000m, marathon, decathlon, heptathlon and walks – and the athletes in those events will need to make significant improvements if they are to fill even half of the places available. There are a maximum of three berths per country in each event, making a possible total of 27 for men and women in these disciplines. On performances produced last year, only eight British athletes would make the home Olympics grade.
The standards have yet to be rubber-stamped by the International Association of Athletics Federations but are very much in line with the aims Van Commenee has set. "It's not about getting as many people as possible on the bus," the Dutchman said. "It's about having a reasonable chance to make finals. If the consequence is that we're not represented in every event, that's the price we pay. I think we'll benefit from that philosophy by having a high number of successful athletes."
In the men's 10,000m Mo Farah and Chris Thompson achieved the "A" standard of 27min 40.00sec last year but in the marathon, decathlon, 20km and 50km walk no British men hit the "A" grade. In the marathon Andrew Lemoncello did achieve the "B" standard, the lesser mark acceptable to allow just one athlete from each country in a particular event.
Jessica Ennis and Louise Hazel both achieved the "A" level in the heptathlon, as did Jo Jackson in the 20km walk. Jo Pavey clocked a "B" mark in the 10,000m. Mara Yamauchi achieved an "A" time in the marathon but she faces a race against time to repeat it; she has withdrawn from the London Marathon on 17 April because of a hamstring issue.
Latest in Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny announce engagement
Manchester United vs Newcastle United preview: Alan Pardew targets rare Old Trafford win to halt Newcastle slump
Arsenal vs QPR: Leroy Fer seeks perfect present for Boxing Day
Jose Mourinho on Sir Alex Ferguson: 'A good friend, a good person, a fantastic sense of humour. I like him very, very much'
Arsenal vs QPR live: Latest score and updates plus reaction to wins for Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...