Sir Clive Woodward remains confident of gold rush at London Olympics

SIR Clive Woodward today believes Great Britain can strike gold and secure several first-places at next year’s Olympic Games in London.

SIR Clive Woodward believes Great Britain can strike gold and secure several first-places at next year’s Olympic Games in London.

Woodward, the British Olympics Association elite performance director, was reflecting on a mixed performance for Team GB at the recent World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

The likes of Dai Greene and Mo Farah secured gold medals in the 400m hurdles and 5,000m respectively, but heptathlete Jessica Ennis, triple jumper Phillips Idowu and Farah, in the 10,000m, all had to settle for silvers.

However, Woodward was satisfied with the team’s exploits.

“I thought it was a great event for the British team,” said Woodward.

“The two gold medals, we probably weren’t expected to win, and the two we probably were expected to, we didn’t.

Most Read

“That’s sport.

“It’s also 12 months out and 12 months is a huge amount of time.

“A lot can happen in 12 months.

“There’s a lot to get stuck into a few people about.

“There were some people who overperformed, some people underperformed.

“The Olympics is the Olympics and the athletics is still the blue-ribband event.

“We’ve got a genuinely good team, who I think are going to represent the team well and the country well.”

Speaking at the same event, heptathlete Louise Hazel revealed the team had begun to panic following some early disappointments in South Korea.

“We were getting quite desperate in the first few days for medals and for team morale,” said the Commonwealth champion, who is an ambassador for Olympic partners Panasonic. “It wasn’t until the medals started coming in that it lifted the team.

“But sat there as an athlete, my mentality was, ‘Well, so what?’

“It’s an individual sport, athletics, and you can get caught up in the team.

“Just because one or two people performed way below their best or were disappointed with what they did, it shouldn’t have a knock-on effect to the next person.

“(Team GB captain) Christian Malcolm did a very good speech in the training camp, and that was basically, ‘Stick to your plan. Don’t put people on pedestals. At the end of the day, you run your own race’.

“And he said, ‘Don’t take any prisoners’.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter