More Brits Out Of CWG

Collins Respects Athletes’ Choice
Thu 05 Jan, 9:09 AM

UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins has emphasised athletes should be allowed to make their own decisions when major championships clash.

Nathan Morgan and Nathan Douglas have opted to compete at the World Indoor Championships rather than travel to the Commonwealth Games, although the pair would both have been medal contenders in Melbourne.

Their absence in Australia will almost certainly affect Team England’s tally of podium places in what is forecast to be a keenly-contested Games where the track and field programme gets under way on March 19.

But their decision to represent the Norwich Union GB side at the world indoors in Moscow, which finish seven days earlier, has prevented the pair from doubling up.

“I would have liked to have done but it would be almost impossible to do so,” said Jason Gardener, who is concentrating on his bid for the Commonwealth 100 metres title rather than defending his world 60m crown.

With the clash of the two events inevitable due to the Games having to take place during the Australian summer, Collins played no part in the pair’s decision, leaving every athlete to make their own choice.

As a result Morgan, the reigning Commonwealth long jump champion, and triple jumper Douglas, ranked third in the world in 2005, will compete in a chilly Moscow rather than a sunny Melbourne.

Collins said: "Like every other individual they had to make a tough decision at a time where there are two major competitions taking place at almost the same time.

"The choice is theirs and I’m sure being coached and advised by Ted King, a thoroughbred senior UK athletics performance manager, they have made the one that suits them best.

“Different people have different attitudes to what they wish to achieve, but we must remember this is an individual sport and athletes must be respected for the choices they make.”

Despite the pair’s presence in the Russian capital, Collins admits it will be a very depleted UK squad which travels to Moscow.

He said: "I have to accept not only will we be losing the chance of picking the number one in each event but also in some cases down to those ranked eighth or ninth.

“We are unlikely to take a large team to Moscow, instead it will almost certainly be a small select squad, but one also giving us the opportunity to take some other younger athletes as part of the development programme.”

Why would it really be impossible to do both? If you used a short to long approach, the 60 and 100 9 days apart is doable. Maybe they’re doing a long to short and are tapering down so much to 60 that they can’t handle the 100 after?

Why wasnt this forseen though? Shouldnt there be a planning body to make shure no major meets ever come in such close proximity to each other?

Maybe it’s more the “tyranny of distance” thing, coming from Moscow to Melbourne, a bit of mucking about with airlines and then a bit of jet-lag for inexperienced travellers. But I remember similar fears expressed by some of the Brits prior to Brisbane 1982 because they were committed to competing in the European Championships (outdoors) in Athens. Some didn’t compete, but guys like Allan Wells, Daley Thompson, Steve Cram, David Moorcroft doubled and won at both from memory.

I know a few who may try if they are on form during the indoor european circuit.

The whole idea of peaking twice even in a season is still neglected in the UK. I know loads of coaches who ignore the indoor season or just train straight through (e.g. are only doing runs at 80% come indoors but still race) because they can’t see how you won’t burn out if you try to do 100% more than once a year! With this in mind I can see how the idea of trying to peak twice in 7 days would seem impossible!

KK’s thinking about the travelling makes more sense but potential reason could be that most Brits go to a holding camp in Oz about 6 weeks out from the champs. Who wants to miss a 6 week holiday in the sun? (Especially when it is raining back home and there is usually little chance for warm weather training)

So true the above, all of it!!

Exactly right! The 1982 Europeans Champs were in central Europe, as I recall.
From Moscow, a flight straight to Aus, not via England, would lower the number of time zone changes and leave enough time for recovery from jet-lag as well as a final bit of easy training.

It’s not up to an individual country to bitch about the proximity of meets. It sould be up to a planning body to help coaches select and plan for the meets that are key to the National Plan- but good luck finding anyone with a clue how to do this. An example of the possibility was Ben in 1987. He went to Aus and ran a 9.7 hand time 100m at an invitational there and ran a then WR 6.44 60m in Osaka a few days later- all off indoor training in Toronto.

So when you say that special endurance through 60m split runs can be pretty effective for preparing for the 100/200m you arn’t kidding! I guess I just don’t believe enough in the power of short to long!

Do you think there is any advantage of preparing long to short for a 200m indoors?

[QUOTE=tc0710]So when you say that special endurance through 60m split runs can be pretty effective for preparing for the 100/200m you arn’t kidding! I guess I just don’t believe enough in the power of short to long!

Cdn 800m record holder Gary Reed was developped in the town of Kamloops (with former Cdn 400m record holder Shane Niemi) running on a 60m stretch of roll-out rubber surface in a hockey arena. Coach Evely obviously developed some decent split/recovery permutations to overcome. In Winter, this coach has a hammer thrower throw in an abandonned bunker. Or so the stories goes.

Derek has done a great job with limited facilities.

I don’t think the MAIN problem is the 2 meetings so close. For the first time in YEARS, a major outdoor meeting takes place during winter time in Europe. Apart from the fact that coaches and athletes are not used to it - do they know how to plan to be ready in March and ready again in Jul - Sept? As Charlie have said - maybe they follow the long to short method … and don’t know how to switch.