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Page last updated at 10:13 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 11:13 UK

Danvers backs under-fire Collins

UKA Performance Director Dave Collins
Collins expects to discover his fate by the end of the month

British Olympic medallist Tasha Danvers has backed UK Athletics (UKA) performance director Dave Collins to continue in the role.

Team GB's athletes fell short of their medal target in Beijing, and Collins expects to find out in the next few days whether he will keep his job.

Dutch performance director Charles van Commenee has been linked with a return.

"Dave is very good at what he does. I'm not quite sure what all the fuss is about," Danvers told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Just as athletes try their best, he's trying to do the best he can."

Van Commenee, who coached Denise Lewis and Kelly Sotherton to Olympic medals, previously worked for UKA as multi-events director.

Britain's pre-Games target was to secure five medals, but they ended up with four with Christine Ohurogu (400m hurdles), Germaine Mason (high jump), Phillips Idowu (triple jump) and Danvers (400m hurdles) the only athletes to make it to the podium.

The relatively poor showing in the track and field events was summed up on the last evening of competition when the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams failed to win a medal and the much-fancied Lisa Dobriskey could only manage fourth in the women's 1500m.

Collins told BBC Sport on Saturday: "It has been frustrating - we almost hit the target, but you don't get medals for close."

"We've got some fantastic young athletes and there's real promise for 2012, it's just going to take time.

"We've got the athletes and it's just a case of making sure no stone is left unturned and everything is catered for in terms of their preparation - that's the difference between fourth and getting on the podium.

BBC Sport's Steve Cram on Britain's athletics prospects in 2012
"We had some people down as dark-horse medals and those guys (Mason and Danvers) were those, but a few others didn't produce.

"There were some unfortunate circumstances for some. The men's (4x100m) relay was a real frustration to everyone involved."

UK Sport, the organisation responsible for allocating funding, has promised a sport-by-sport review of performances.

Team GB returned their best Olympic medal haul for 100 years, with cycling, rowing and sailing the most successful sports.

But other sports which missed their targets, including judo and archery, are likely to come in for scrutiny.

British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan called on UK Sport to put funding in place now to ensure Team GB can attract and retain leading coaches.

"It can't be done on a year-by-year basis. We have some of the very best in the world supporting Team GB, and there will be many other countries who want to poach them from us," he said.

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Video - UK Athletics chief admits there is work to do

"We will never again have this opportunity in our lifetime. We need to be totally and utterly professional in everything done by and for Team GB, and not a day can be lost.

"I would very much like to hear the Prime Minister underwrite the funding programme for four years. I know from a series of discussions with the Secretary of State Andy Burnham that they are minded to look at that."

Athletics medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK <
see also
Cycling boss targeted by rivals
24 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Idowu takes silver behind Evora
21 Aug 08 |  Athletics
GB & US both out of sprint relay
21 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu grabs gold for Britain
19 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Mason jumps to silver for Britain
19 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Danvers wins bronze behind Walker
20 Aug 08 |  Athletics
Collins named UK Athletics chief
07 Dec 04 |  Athletics
Find your local athletics club
13 Oct 05 |  Get Involved

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Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forUSA 7 9 7 23
Men's 100m 0 0 1
Men's 110m Hurdles 0 1 1
Men's 200m 0 1 1
Men's 400m 1 1 1
Men's 400m Hurdles 1 1 1
Men's 4 x 400m Relay 1 0 0
Men's Decathlon 1 0 0
Men's Shot Put 0 1 0
Women's 10000m 0 0 1
Women's 100m Hurdles 1 0 0
Women's 200m 0 1 0
Women's 400m 0 0 1
Women's 400m Hurdles 0 1 0
Women's 4 x 400m Relay 1 0 0
Women's Discus Throw 1 0 0
Women's Heptathlon 0 1 0
Women's Pole Vault 0 1 0
2 also show each event results forRussia 6 5 7 18
Men's 20km Walk 1 0 0
Men's 4 x 400m Relay 0 0 1
Men's 50km Walk 0 0 1
Men's High Jump 1 0 1
Men's Pole Vault 0 1 0
Women's 20km Walk 1 0 0
Women's 3000m Steeplechase 1 0 1
Women's 4 x 100m Relay 1 0 0
Women's 4 x 400m Relay 0 1 0


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