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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 October, 2004, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
Elliott in plea to Connor
Keith Connor
Former Olympian Herb Elliot has urged Keith Connor to stay on as the head of Australian athletics.

Connor, who won Olympic bronze for Britain in 1984, is favourite to become UK Athletics' new performance director.

"Keith would be a great loss if he went to Great Britain," Elliott told the Australian Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"In my view, we should do everything possible to keep him. He's done an excellent job under difficult circumstances."

Elliott is the chairman of an Australian Sports Commission review of athletics.

Connor is currently in Britain, but did not want to talk to BBC Sport about the speculation linking him with the position of performance director.

UK Athletics is expected to announce who will succeed outgoing Max Jones next week.

Connor has been head coach of Australian athletics since 2001 but his contract expires at the end of the year.

Opinions on the 47-year-old's tenure have been mixed, with some regarding his tough coaching methods as ineffective.

But Elliot insists the former British triple jumper has moved the sport forward.

"Keith's had to take some very tough action," added Elliot. "As a consequence he's rubbed a few people up the wrong way and some are against him.

"But it would be a shame to lose him."

The report into Australian athletics is expected to be published on Monday.

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