Jessica Ennis coach, Toni Minichiello, in talks with UK Athletics over new role


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The Independent Online

Toni Minichiello, the coach who guided Jessica Ennis from schoolgirl novice to Olympic heptathlon champion, confirmed today that he is still in talks with UK Athletics about working with the domestic governing body in a consultancy capacity.

Minichiello's old job as an Olympic coach has been lost in a restructuring plan based around the creation of a central national institute in Loughborough but he will continue to coach the Sheffield athlete in her home city and is considering the offer of a consultancy contract from his now former employers.

"I am no longer an employee of UK Athletics," Minichello said. "However, I am still having discussions about possible consultancy. I am looking at that and also considering pursuing other avenues so that I can continue to coach Jess. These are standard things that happen every four years in the funding cycle of every Olympic sport. UK Athletics have decided to take the sport in a direction that they feel is good for the sport and my role no longer exists."

A spokesperson for UK Athletics said: "Discussions with Toni are still taking place."

Meanwhile, marathon runner Mara Yamauchi has announced her retirement at the age of 39. The Oxford woman finished runner up in the 2009 London Marathon.

Yamauchi said: "I have achieved my childhood dream of becoming an Olympian, and enjoyed many years training and competing as an elite athlete. I have now decided that it's time to leave elite competition behind, and instead I will run for enjoyment and to stay healthy."