29 October 2012
UK Athletics has today named Peter Eriksson as the newly appointed Olympic Head Coach.
Eriksson, who will move on from his role as UKA’s Paralympic Head Coach with immediate effect, has worked for the governing body since January 2009. As Paralympic Head Coach he masterminded a dramatic rise in performance of the British Team, finishing second in the medal table in the 2011 World Championships and third at the London Paralympic Games
Eriksson has been an integral part of UKA’s 2012 Task Force, the group set up by CEO Niels de Vos following the Beijing 2008 Games to deliver improved medal success in London. Since his arrival in 2009 he has been working alongside Performance Director Neil Black and the outgoing Olympic Head Coach, Charles van Commenee.
Neil Black said "Peter has proved time and again that he has the priceless ability to lead and inspire athletes to deliver when it matters most – at the biggest championships, on the global stage. He is a rare talent, fantastically well positioned to now assume leadership of the Olympic team, and to build on the impressive progress the sport has made between Beijing and London."
Eriksson said: "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.
“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."
Former Olympic Champion and reigning 400m silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu said:
“I have such a lot of respect for Peter and what he’s achieved,” she said.
“I’ve been in the fortunate position where I was with him over the summer at the Paralympic Games holding camp and I was struck by the fact that he did whatever he could do get the best out of the athletes – he had a real no-nonsense approach and was totally focused on winning medals.
“I think Peter has shown that he’s willing to make hard decisions. He has also shown he has great intuition; I don’t think my coach Lloyd (Cowan) was an obvious choice to work at the Paralympics but Peter saw something in him. His work will give other coaches confidence that they too may have a skill set that has not been recognised before but could be recognised by Peter –I’m really happy he’s been appointed in this role.”
View Peter's biography here.