Charles van Commenee to stand down as head of UK Athletics after Team GB failed to hit London 2012 target

 

Charles van Commenee is to step down as UK Athletics head coach after the team failed to meet his own medal target at the London Olympics.

The 54-year-old Dutchman will leave the organisation when his contract expires in December and it is understood UK Athletics will announce his successor later this week.

Van Commenee had set a target of at least eight medals including a minimum of one gold but the team fell two short - though four of the six medals were gold.

UK Athletics were prepared to give Van Commenee a new deal but he decided to remain true to his own promise to quit if the target was not met.

The jubilation of the golds for Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah's double camouflaged the fact that there were a number of disappointments in track and field.

Immediately after the Olympics, Van Commenee said it was "weird" that people still wanted him to stay despite not making the target and agreed he would be undermined by his previous pledge if he stayed in his post.

He said then: "That was the whole point of what I said before. Credibility is a big thing for somebody leading a programme."

Van Commenee arrived in 2009 with a reputation for tough-talking and certainly lived up to that leading to several clashes with athletes, notably with Phillips Idowu over the triple jumper's use of Twitter.

PA

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