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UK Athletics

Olijar clinic boosts UK hurdlers

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UK Athletics is so pleased with a week-long coaching clinic run for elite hurdlers by Ludmila Olijar that it plans to import more expertise.


UKA Performance Director Dave Collins invited Olijar – coach and mother of European 110m hurdles champion Stanislav – to the UKA East Midlands Performance Centre at Loughborough University.


She worked intensively with the UK’s current top five sprint hurdlers: European and Commonwealth bronze medallist Andy Turner, Scottish 110m hurdles record holder and Commonwealth silver medallist Chris Baillie, AAA Under 23 Champion William Sharman, European Under 23 Champion David Hughes and Allan Scott, the 2005 Scottish Athlete of the Year, plus their coaches.


Turner, who attended with his coach Lloyd Cowan, said: “She has a reputation that goes back years. Any help is good help in my eyes. It’s also been good to meet Stanislav socially and discover that in real life he’s not the robot he seems to be on the track. It was friendly all week. Now I want to get out there on the tracks and destroy him!”


Collins, who has consistently pledged to scour the world for the best advisors to help the UK’s most promising athletes, said: “I am pleased this initial venture seems to have led to our athletes getting so much out of it. Ludmila will be invited back at periods through the year so that her advice rolls out all the way towards preparation for the major championships.


“We will import as much knowledge as we believe is useful to give our athletes the best available assistance.”


Indeed, Anatoly Chernobay, the renowned Russian pole vault coach, has now moved in to Loughborough to spend a fortnight advising the UKA’s lottery-funded Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Steve Lewis, AAA silver medallist Kate Dennison and UK School Games champion Andy Marsh, aged 16, plus their coaches.