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Last Updated: Monday, 9 August, 2004, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Jones boosts Team GB morale
Max Jones
Jones believes British chances are promising
Britain's athletics chief Max Jones has revealed how he sent a letter of encouragement to each one of the nation's 58 track and field Olympians.

The 57-year-old did not want the athletes to believe reports they were going to have a bad Games in Athens.

Jones stated Britain had less "probable" medal contenders than in Sydney four years ago.

"I sent the athletes a letter saying I think we have a strong team who will do well," said the technical director.

"I told them to prove people wrong and get out there and do it," he added.

"I was portrayed as saying we didn't have a good team and we'd have a poor Games, but that was incorrect.

"The only thing I was saying was that we didn't have as many probable medallists as in Sydney.

"That's why I felt it was important to write to the athletes to say that I still believe in you and believe you can produce the goods.

"We have still got some excellent medal hopes and during this preparation camp the coaches will get round to the athletes and talk them up."

Swimming's performance director Bill Sweetenham issued a similar letter of encouragement to his team in the build-up to Athens.





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