Maguire set for return to Scotland
SCOTTISH ATHLETICS are set to lure Stephen Maguire back from UK Athletics to become their new director of performance and coaching, writes Mark Woods.
It will mark a second spell in the role for the Northern Irishman who was in charge of development from 2012-2014 before moving south to take charge of the country’s sprints and hurdles squads.
During his tenure in Loughborough, a history of regular relay letdowns was replaced by success with Britain’s women claiming 4x100m and 4x400m relay bronzes at the Rio 2016
His reputation burnished further when the men struck 4x100m gold at last summer’s IAAF World Championships in London with two silvers and a bronze from the other three relay quartets in action. UK Athletics are understood to be keen on Maguire retaining a role within British relay programme before relinquishing his dayto-day role following August’s European Championships in Berlin.
However it is anticipated Maguire will return north of the border in September to complete what will be thought of as unfinished business following a vital role in bringing through some of the current crop of Scottish stars.
Sources at the Edinburghbased governing body suggest he will be asked to focus heavily on strengthening an extensive club and coach education programme which was a major area of emphasis of his first spell north of the border. He replaces Rodger Harkins who retired after the Commonwealth Games in April.
Meanwhile, defending champion Chris O’Hare has identified an improved Charlie Da’Vall Grice as “a big danger” to the chances of Scottish athletes repeating their 1500m success of 2017 at this weekend’s British championships in Birmingham.
O’Hare led home fellow Edinburgh AC athletes Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman at the Alexander Stadium last year while another Scot, Neil Gourley, made it a 1-2-3-4 in Birmingham. However, O’Hare, who narrowly beat Gourley over 800m last weekend, said: “Charlie is in better form than a year ago, so that’s a big danger and there will be others.”
Chris O’Hare: just edged out Neil Gourley over 800m in Grangemouth