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 Mara Yamauchi achieved an "A" time in the marathon but she faces a race against time to repeat it; she has withdrawn from the London Marathon on 17 April because of a hamstring issue.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
Leicester vs Arsenal match preview: Calm Calum can be an Arsenal star for years to come, says Per Mertesacker
Tottenham vs Liverpool preview: Spurs ready to press their case for Reds revenge
Burnley vs Manchester United match report: Louis van Gaal still winless after goalless draw at Turf Moor
Tottenham vs Liverpool match preview: I can get the best out of Mario Balotelli, says Brendan Rodgers
Everton vs Chelsea player ratings: Who was best in the nine-goal thriller at Goodison?
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 It's not just the savagery of Isis that is shocking – its weaponry is too
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...