Dunn made Paralympic head coach


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The Independent Online

Paula Dunn has faced bigger tasks in her sporting career. As a sprinter at the Seoul Olympics, she had to contend with the formidable Florence Griffith-Joyner and the turbo-charged fräuleins from the drug-fuelled East German track and field regime. Still, the 1988 Olympian has a hard act to follow, having been handed the baton from Peter Eriksson as the new Paralympic head coach of UK Athletics.

Eriksson guided the British team to 29 medals, including 11 golds, at London 2012 before succeeding Charles van Commenee as head coach of the non-disabled Olympic team. "The plan is to build on the success of London 2012," Dunn said after yesterday's announcement.

"London 2012 was a huge leap forward for our athletes and they want more of it. [sprinter] Jonnie Peacock wasn't involved in the sport in 2009. Over three years he's become a Paralympic champion, watched by 6.4m people, with 80,000 chanting his name in an Olympic Stadium. The plan is to find more Jonnie Peacocks.

"Since the Paralympics we've had three big countries contacting us asking how we did it. I've been very polite and said, 'We did it through hard work and no, you can't have our plans'."