Former XC great lambasts UK performances in Amman
Tim Hutchings says that until UK athletes approach something like ‘competitive’ against the African and Eastern nations they should not be sent to events such as the World Cross Country championships.
It seems that every great British distance runner of the past is ready to articulate their disappointment (see Dave Bedford from earlier this week) at the state of endurance running in the UK right now. Most of it is more than fair, however Hutchings goes as far as saying that until the nation produces runners that are capable of being worthy opposition to the the top athletes at races such as the World XC, they should stay at home.
In an article published in this weeks’ (09.04.09) Athletics Weekly former Olympian and World XC 1985 and 1989 silver medalist speaks out against the UKA’s selection criteria, their handling of the athletes before they traveled to Jordan, and the lack general ability in the current endurance climate. He also says that the money spent on sending a full quota of teams to these events should be spent on raising standards instead.
Hutchings is candid as ever in saying:
“If men can’t get close to 13.45 for 5000m, or 28.30 for 10,000m then they’ve got no business being anywhere near those championships”.
Interestingly on the same page it is reported that U23 European silver medalist Andy Vernon wasn’t entirely happy with the set up either. Speaking about the Aldershot ‘holding camp’ he said:
“The Aldershot camp was okay for bringing the team together, but I am not really sure what purpose it served because what we did there I could have done on my own anyway”.
There will no doubt be a lot more questioning of abilities, training, racing and selections before the next year’s championships in Poland – let’s hope someone has some good answers!