Maguire set for re­turn to Scot­land

Athletics Weekly - - Contents -

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

Olympic Games.

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

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