Inside the Games blog announced that Steve Ovett, the 1980 Olympic champion at 800 meters, is taking a position in his adopted home, Australia, to help improve the hopes of Australian distance running for London 2012. The complete story can be found at: http://www.insidethegames.com/show-news.php?id=5164.
Steve Ovett moved his family to Australia in 2001. He has been a BBC commentator for athletics and the Olympics, which has kept him in contact and popular in the Uk. Ironically, Ovett had preliminary discussions with UK athletics in July of 2008 to investigate the possibility of Ovett’s involvement in a program in improve middle distance running in the UK. Due to the distances involved between Great Britain and Australia, the original discussions were not continued.
In November 2008, Charles van Commannee, the new UK athletics head coach, appointed Ian Stewart to manage the fortunes of developing British distance runners, with the help of Liz McColgan, Paula Radcliffe, Steve Cram and Sebastian Coe, among others. Stewart’s success as an athlete and a coach were what van Commannee cited as the reasons he wanted Stewart heading the Endurance group.
A modest example of Stewarts’ influence has been his mentoring of Mo Farah, who has broken the British indoor record for 3,000 meters three times in 2009, winning his first international title at the European Indoors, where he won the 3k.
Ovett’s role in Australia will be a high profile position where he will advise middle and long distance developing athletes as they train for London 2012.
From 1978 to 1981, Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett were the men of the middle distances. Ovett was unbeaten at 1,500 meters from 1978 until Sebastian Coe defeated him in the finals of the Moscow Olympic 1,500 meters. Coe and Ovett have developed a strong personal relationship over the years after their retirement, and have done several corporate speaking engagements speaking on their racing, the sport and its future.
Like the UK, Australia has seen that, in order to solve a problem, the problem needs to be identified and appreciated before any changes can happen. Runblogrun will be watching UK Endurance program and the future Australian program.
The complete story can be found at: http://www.insidethegames.com/show-news.php?id=5164.
To read the complete story about the UK Endurance team and Coe’s advisory council,
please read: http://www.insidethegames.com/show-news.php?id=4233
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