Coe plans to return home for father's funeral

Mike Rowbottom
Monday 11 August 2008 00:00
Comments

Sebastian Coe, who learnt when he arrived here on Saturday that his father, Peter, had died after a short illness, will go back home for the funeral before returning to China for the closing ceremony.

Lord Coe, the chairman of the London 2012 Olympic organising committee, had delayed his journey to Beijing to be at his father's bedside in a London hospital. The double Olympic 1500m champion said last month that his father, who coached him, had had "an extraordinary influence" on his life.

The most memorable example of that influence occurred in the wake of Coe's silver behind his huge rival Steve Ovett in the 1980 Moscow Olympic final, where he was hot favourite. "You ran like an idiot," his father told him. Coe went out and earned unexpected gold in Ovett's event of the metric mile.

Coe Snr, who was 88 when he died, was an engineer by profession, having survived when his merchant navy ship was torpedoed in the Atlantic during the Second World War. But as a novice coach, he recognised the prevailing methods of preparing for middle distance running were outmoded and set up a programme for his son focusing on repetitious speed work rather than lots of long, slower runs.

From the moment Coe emerged on the international scene as a 20-year-old in 1977 to win the European indoor 800m title with a long run for home, it was clear Coe Snr was right.

* Rain ruined the first day of the tennis yesterday, but there was still a surprise when top seed Ana Ivanovic withdrew from the competition because of inflammation in her right thumb.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in