OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Van Commenee confirms he's quitting job after missing medal target
CHARLES Van Commenee has confirmed he is standing down as UK Athletics head coach following the failure of British athletes to achieve their pre-Olympics medal target.
QUIT: Charles Van Commenee will quit as British athletics head coach at the conclusion of the year after his team missed their Olympic medal targets
Great Britain were aiming for eight medals in track and field events but won six - including golds for Jess Ennis and Greg Rutherford and double success for Mo Farah.
Those positions were Britain's best return in terms of quality of positions since 1984 but Van Commenee was disappointed about the lack of depth.
Many - including London 2012 chairman and British Olympic Association chairman candidate Seb Coe - had encouraged Van Commenee, appointed after a disappointing Games in Beijing, to stay on.
But he decided to quit at the conclusion of his contract this year, claiming he couldn't ask athletes to be responsible for targets unless he was.
UK Athletics chairman Niel de Vos offered van Commenee an extension to his contract but the Dutchman decided to leave after a holiday in the Caribbean.
“Niels and I have worked hard to implement accountability as it is vital to the culture of elite sport, and this has been absolutely central to what we have achieved here in a short space of time," he said.
"Whilst I am thankful for the kind comments and wishes I have received in recent weeks, I believe my decision has the interests of British athletics at it’s heart in sustaining this culture.
“I am happy the future is looking promising with the talent that is about to break through now. But now it needs the new energy and approach by the new leadership team through to 2017.
"Niels has always had an eye on the eventuality of my leaving – indeed he and I have worked together to put in place an excellent succession plan for the sport.
"I look forward to seeing the future successes for the GB & NI team through to Rio and the World Championships in London.”
De Vos claims the new appointment - who will be responsible for the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships in London - will be made shortly.
He said: “Charles has done an excellent job preparing British Athletics for the 2012 Olympic Games.
"We have spoken daily for the last four years and have discussed the post 2012 position almost as often.
“He and I have always been aware of the possibility of him leaving and we are confident that our long term plan will enable us to continue building on the success we achieved in London.
"There is no doubt Charles has helped to transform our culture, and we can now look forward to further success under the leadership of a new team.”
© Sportsbeat 2012