Peter Eriksson takes over as Great Britian's head coach | 31.10.2012
|UK Athletics has appointed Peter Eriksson
as its Olympic Head Coach.
The Swedish-born Canadian will move on from his role as UK Athletics's Paralympic Head Coach, having worked for the governing body since January 2009, and after masterminding a dramatic rise in performance of the British teams at recent major championships, with Great Britain finishing second in the medal table in the 2011 IPC World Championships and then third at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Since his arrival in 2009, Eriksson has been working alongside UK Athletics newly-appointed Performance Director Neil Black and the outgoing Olympic Head Coach, Charles van Commenee.
It was van Commenee who was the guiding force behind Great Britain finishing as the second most successful European nation, behind Russia, with four gold medals at London 2012.
"It is a great privilege to be asked to take on this role. I will continue with the methods and approach that has proved so successful in the Paralympic arena, and that has been about strong performance management of our best medal prospects to maximise the likelihood of medal winning performances," commented Eriksson.
"The Olympic team performed very well in London, finishing fourth in the world with four golds so I have a great platform on which to build. But I believe that we can still do better in Rio 2016, and of course when the IAAF World Athletics Championships take place in the London Olympic Stadium in 2017. The next five years look like an exhilarating time for British athletics.
"If you compare me with Charles, we have the same outcome in mind. We want to perform better. We want to have more medals.
"I don't know if it's a hard act to follow. I think he (Charles van Commenee) did a great job. Four gold medals at the Olympics was excellent. I think we have a golden generation going forward to the 2016 Olympics, and to the 2017 World Championships in London," he added.
Eriksson's first major championship where he will be looking for some outstanding performances from his 'golden generation' will be the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships in the Swedish city of Göteborg, which will be held between 1-3 March next year.
Great Britain finished fourth at the last edition in 2011, behind Russia, France and Germany, when they got gold medals from men's and women's 3000m winners Mo Farah and Helen Clitheroe, as well as six other places on the podium.