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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Tuesday, 18 October 2011 17:28 UK

Judo coach Juergen Klinger says GB must think long term

Juergen Klinger
Juergen Klinger was the Assistant National judo Coach of Germany for 15 years

High-performance judo coach Juergen Klinger has said Britain needs to think long term and not just focus on 2012.

Following a poor display at August's World Championships, British judo named Romanian Daniel Lascau as the new performance director.

But Klinger said: "This is just for the next ten months, We have to build a view for 2016 and 2020 as well.

"There's no system from the grass roots to the top and judo is a very complex sport," he told BBC London 94.9.

British Judo chairman Densign White has recently admitted that the British squad may only win one medal at the 2012 Olympics following the disappointing results at the World Championships in France.

And Klinger, who coaches a number of Great Britain hopefuls at the University of Bath, believes this remains a credible target.

"The realistic situation is that we have this talent and if we guide them really strongly, with a good plan over the next ten months, we have a good chance for a medal.

"But it is a very hard and rocky road to go down and it is a lot of work," he continued.

If we think in the next 10 months, that is too short, we have to build a longer view

Juergen Klinger

The last time Britain won an Olympic judo medal was at Sydney 2000, when four-time Olympian Kate Howey won silver.

Klinger, who has over 30 years coaching experience in judo, thinks a British medal in 2012 would pave the way for the sport to develop again.

"If we win this medal that is the sign that we are going forward," he said.

"We could have a chance, with this medal and this positive feeling, to create a new system. That would be fantastic for British judo."

The former Germany assistant coach said Britain trails behind other countries with regards to coaching methods.

"What we have in the country is a lot of talent, but the systematic work with the talent has not happened really," said Klinger.

"It is a very, very difficult scenario because internationally they work in systems. We have lacked this system for a couple of years now."

Klinger believes there needs to be a greater emphasis on mixing sport and education from a young age and points to other countries where cadets train for 17-20 hours a week.

"That is not the work for a little club. It only works if you combine high-performance sport and education."

"Working once a week is not good enough," he added. "You have to create a scenario where education and high-performance sport is very well linked, so you have an influence in the daily work of young judo players."

According to Klinger, it will take a decade to see any concrete results and this is why he is calling on Britain to plan for the long term.

"If we think in the next ten months, that is too short. We have to build a longer view and the people in the federation have to start with that," he said.

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