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Page last updated at 20:05 GMT, Sunday, 8 March 2009

Van Commenee rues missed targets

Van Commenee slams 'naive' Okoro

Charles van Commenee warned Great Britain's European Indoor Championship athletes few of them had achieved the standards he had expected of them.

GB won four medals in Turin, short of the UK Athletics head coach's target of five or six and well down on the 10 won in Birmingham in 2007.

"I've very mixed feelings," said UK head coach Van Commenee. "We didn't hit the target which isn't good."

Van Commenee also labelled Marilyn Okoro's 800m final display as "naive".

You hope more athletes take the opportunity at a development event like the European Indoors

National head coach of UK Athletics Charles van Commenee

Okoro burst into the lead but after tiring on the last bend she collapsed on the line, with Jenny Meadows finishing in fourth as Mariya Savinova took gold.

"With more clever tactics I think Okoro would have ended up with the silver," said Van Commenee, who replaced Dave Collins as national head coach of UK Athletics.

"The 800m I think was a bit naive. You can debate the 60m hurdles where Sarah Claxton ran superbly in the semi but messed up in the final. It's debatable we gave away a medal there, in the 800m we did. Very few stepped up a level."

On a more positive note, Van Commenee praised the women's relay team - Okoro ran the final leg in the 4x400m as Britain took silver - and pole vaulter Steve Lewis, who finished fourth.

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"There were a few exceptions, I liked Steve Lewis in the pole vault and both the relay teams were really good, but altogether you hope that more athletes take the opportunity at a development event like the European Indoors," said the Dutchman.

As technical director of the Dutch Olympic Committee, Van Commenee led his country to its second best Games medal haul at the 2008 event in China and is now responsible for reviving the fortunes of Britain's athletes ahead of the London Olympics after a poor showing in Beijing.



see also
European Indoor athletics photos
08 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Chambers storms to gold in Turin
08 Mar 09 |  Athletics
GB end Euros with relay silvers
08 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Farah cruises home to 3,000m gold
07 Mar 09 |  Athletics
Van Commenee named UKA head coach
23 Sep 08 |  Athletics


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