On this day in 2012: UK Athletics appoints Peter Eriksson as the new Olympic head coach


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On that day in 2012, UK Athletics named Sweden’s Peter Eriksson as their new Olympic head coach.

Eriksson, then 59, switched roles as UKA Paralympics head coach to succeed the outgoing Charles van Commenee, whose four-year contract expired the following December.

Van Commenee decided to step down when Team GB failed to meet their goal of eight athletics medals in the 2012 Olympics.

Mo Farah won the team GB’s two track and field gold medals in Rio 2016 (Mike Egerton / PA)

The six British medals were still a successful tenure for the Dutchman, who left big footsteps for Eriksson.

Eriksson, who led Britain’s Paralympic athletes to 29 medals at the London Games, including 11 gold medals, immediately set out to surpass Team GB 2012’s “golden generation”.

“The team did so well in the Olympics and we can build on that,” said Eriksson.

“I think we have a golden generation ahead of us who are heading for the 2016 Games and the 2017 World Championships, where we can do even better.

“I think the next five years and beyond are going to be really exciting for the UK track and field community.”

But Eriksson’s plans did not come true. Eight months later he left the role for family reasons and returned to Canada while Britain won seven athletics medals in Rio.

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