Oz head coach carpeted

AUSTRALIA’S track and field high-performance manager Eric Hollingsworth has been given an ultimatum: focus on the team rather than the individual.

Growing unrest among athletes brought the issue to a head with concern Hollingsworth was at times paying too much attention to certain individuals.

He was summoned to a meeting with Athletics Australia chief executive Dallas O’Brien on Tuesday and told the situation could no longer continue in the lead-up to the London Olympics.

Hollingsworth coached a number of emerging athletes, including Commonwealth Games 400m silver medallist Sean Wroe, before his appointment to the main job in 2009.

O’Brien, who yesterday spoke highly of the job Hollingsworth had done, said he was confident the issue had been resolved.

“It had come to a bit of a head and we had to clarify his role,” O’Brien said.

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"We had to confirm that he understands his contractual agreement as high-performance manager is that he can’t coach individual athletes.

"I know he enjoys coaching, that’s his background, but we just thought there was too much of a conflict of interest to have both roles.

“There was a transition phase, so his athletes wouldn’t be left high and dry. But that finished at the end of the Commonwealth Games last year.”

While Hollingsworth denied there was any favouritism, the perception in the athletics community was the biggest concern to Athletics Australia.

“We can’t have people thinking of it, in any shape or form that he is coaching an individual,” O’Brien said.

“As a high-performance manager, he has to assist and look after all athletes and he’s confirmed to me that is what he wants to do in the future.”

OLYMPIC champion Asbel Kiprop will run in the 1500m at Thursday night’s Melbourne Track Classic.

In a massive boost for organisers, the Kenyan superstar has confirmed he is coming back for revenge after suffering a shock to loss to Victorian Jeff Riseley in last year’s race.

Riseley, who is on the comeback trail from injury, will again be on the start line, along with New Zealand’s Olympic silver medallist Nick Willis.

It sounds like a fair point, no?

I am curious,will he give the same directive to the team coaches under him.