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UK Athletics

Weir Eyes 2012 Success

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Bob Weir competing for GB in 2000




09 October 2008




UK Athletics’ newly appointed heavy throws coach Bob Weir has insisted that GB throwers have what it takes and could make an impact as soon as 2012.


Weir, who will return to the UK following his time spent at Stanford University as Men’s track and field coach will ain to turn GB’s heavy throws fortunes around in time for the London Olympic Games.


With less than four years to achieve this task, the experienced competitor and coach has underlined his intentions going forward:


“I think more than anything else in Great Britain we have ability and we have talent, that is clear – and what is really important is that the talent gets the highest and best use out of it,” he said.


“From where we’re starting from, it gives us a tremendous opportunity for growth and that’s an exciting part in itself.”


Speaking from his home in California, the double Commonwealth champion revealed that there were no quick fixes, when asked if he had an idea of what needed doing in the heavy throws:


“The short answer is yes,” he said, “but the more complicated answer is that you have to take the time to find out what people have been doing, why they’re doing it, what their plans are.


“For me being in America and from a different background – it gives me a different perspective so one or two things I may have to offer may make the difference.


“You look at the situation of people who have been most successful, and it is really just taking those lessons and making them a part of what we do at home – and if we can take those things similarly to those who have been most successful then we should expect similar results.


“For example if one of the main exercises for throwing is sprints, and we’re not sprinting, then if we start sprinting then it is fair to assume we’re going to improve because we’re doing something we haven’t been doing before!”


With less than four years before London hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the race against the clock is on, but Weir was convinced that a difference could be made, even suggesting raiding other athletics disciplines for talent.


“I would say it (success in 2012) is very, very possible,” he replied with confidence.


“There was a young lady at Stanford who I coached who was a triple jumper and she had never thrown the hammer before. She finished third at the US nationals this year and the only reason she wasn’t on the US Olympic team was she had not thrown the A standard, but she had come close to it a couple of times.


“If she was a triple jumper – never having been involved in hammer throwing before and could almost make the Olympic team – I have to believe there are other athletes even if they are in other disciplines who could excel and surprise themselves and other people. That is about creating the environment for people to be successful.”

Weir will take up his new post before the end of the year. For the man who was inspired at the age of 14 to wrap a piece of wire around a blanket to create a home-made hammer – it is hoped some of that inspiration and success will rub off on the athletes set to benefit from his guidance.