Salisbury JournalVan Commenee to stand down (From Salisbury Journal)

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Van Commenee to stand down

Salisbury Journal: Charles van Commenee will stand down from his position with UK Athletics Charles van Commenee will stand down from his position with UK Athletics

UK Athletics have confirmed head coach Charles van Commenee will leave the organisation later this year after the team failed to meet his own medal target at the London Olympics.

The 54-year-old Dutchman will walk away when his contract expires in December, and it is understood UK Athletics will announce his successor later this week.

Van Commenee had set a target of at least eight medals, including a minimum of one gold, but the team fell two short - though four of the six medals were gold.

UK Athletics were prepared to give Van Commenee, who took up the post in 2009, a new deal but he decided to remain true to his own promise to quit if the target was not met. The jubilation of the golds for Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah's double camouflaged the fact that there were a number of disappointments in track and field.

Immediately after the Olympics, Van Commenee said it was "weird'' that people still wanted him to stay despite not making the target and agreed he would be undermined by his previous pledge if he stayed in his post.

He said on Tuesday: "(UKA chief executive) Niels de Vos 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.

"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 its 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.

"As CEO 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 added: "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."

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