Sebastian Coe unsurprised by injury woes suffered by Olympic stars including Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford

Athletes are fragile after an Olympic year says the former gold medallist

That two of the three British gold medallists from Super Saturday are now struggling to be ready for this year’s main event, next month’s world championships in Moscow, is only to be expected in the come down following Olympic year, according to Sebastian Coe.

Jess Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford have both been dogged by injury in 2013 – while the Kenyan 800m world record holder David Rudisha, Coe’s favourite from 2012, is one high profile athlete already out of the world championships. 

“It doesn’t dramatically surprise me,” says Coe of the number of athletes struggling this year. “My dad always used to say that coaching me a year after the Olympic Games was a bit like coaching an eggshell.

“You do go to the well an awful lot of times in an Olympic year, both mentally and physically and particularly track and field athletes do come out of an Olympic Games slightly fragile – it’s inevitable. When you are in an Olympic year there are no tomorrows. You just live for the moment.

“In 1985 [after winning gold at Los Angeles 84] I don’t think I put more than three or four training weeks together without an injury and that was no coincidence – that was entirely predicated on the challenges of an Olympic year.

“I’m not writing off the British team this year but it doesn’t surprise me that some of those athletes that competed really well last year are having a bit of a fragile time at the moment. It sort of happens.”