Team GB, an end of term report, by Stuart Weir


Stuart Weir began writing for us in Beijing at the World Championships, in August 2015.

I like his sense of humor and his skill at observation of the fact or view that most of us might miss.

Stu told me that he was a bit of an optimist. I think his view of Team GB is spot on.

The talent in the British Isles is continuing to impress. In some ways, Federations need to support where needed and stand back and smile when things are working well. A current generation of British athletes continues to impress and a new generation is full of promise.

That promise continues.


Dina Asher-Smith, photo by

Team GB - end of term report.

With people already focusing on the 2016 Olympics, where is British Athletics at the moment and what can we realistically expect from the forthcoming Olympic Games?

Team GB went into the Beijing World Championships on the back of an amazing 2014 European Championships which saw an incredible haul of 23 medals (12 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze). However, we all know how difficult it is to transfer regional success to the world stage - in any case six of the European medallists were not competing in Beijing due to injury, non-selection or even opting out. In the event seven medals (4 gold, a silver and 2 bronze) was one more than at the 2013 World Championships and represented an excellent return.

The heart of the team was the 2012 Super-Sunday trio of Mo Farah, Jess Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford who collected the team's four golds. There seems no reason why the trio will not be in the shake-up for medals in Rio. That is good start!

Shara Proctor had never jumped 7 metres then she did it twice in half an hour in Beijing to take World Championship silver. She can go on from there.

Some of our top athletes disappointed in Beijing. Christine Ohuruogu (2013 World Champion in 400) won her heat and semi-final but ran a disappointing final, admitting afterwards that for the first time in her life she allowed what another runner (Allyson Felix) did, to throw her off her game plan. You can be sure she won't make the same mistake in Rio.

Tiffany Porter was in a winning position in the 100 hurdles with two barriers to go when she seemed to stumble; she will come back stronger. In the Women's 800 metres, Lynsey Sharp, failed to reach the final but then ran a PB of 1:57.71 two weeks later. She will only get stronger.

Relays have often been a happy hunting ground for Team GB - there were bronze medals in both 4 by 400 relays in Beijing. The women's sprint relay team missed bronze by 0.07 of a second and the men threw away their realistic medal chance by not getting the baton round. Four relay medals in Rio is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Dina Asher-Smith was fifth a national record time of 22.07 and was disappointed! That attitude will take her a long way. Katerina Johnson-Thompson scuppered her heptathlon medal chances with three no-jumps in the long jump. Both of them will be a year older and stronger in Rio.

With Home advantage in 2012, GB won six medals (4 golds, a bronze and a silver). If everyone stays injury free, I see no reason why we cannot beat that in Rio.

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