Tag Archives: Andy Young

Timothy Cheruiyot to give a talk at BMC endurance day

Olympic 1500m silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot has been invited to talk at the British Milers’ Club event that will be held at Leeds Beckett University on Sunday November 14, 2021.

Cheruiyot who is the World 1500m champion will tag along his Rongai Athletics Club (RAC) coach Bernard Ouma and they will give the talk on European Endurance Conference.

The 25 year-old will talk about the secrets of his success at a British Milers’ Club (BMC) coaching day.

Neville Taylor, one of the BMC coaches organising the day, says: “We have put together a great programme with UK and overseas presenters. “We see it has a benefit to both coaches and athletes and it forms part of the BMC’s coach education strategy. “Apart from a full day of presentations there are two practical training sessions with international coaches and major championship medallists.”

The day, which is supported by England Athletics at the university’s Headingley Campus, begins with an introduction from Tim Brennan and a talk from Norman Poole on “aspects of the 800m”. James Thie will then give a lecture entitled “The Coach!” before an 11am practical session led by David Lowes, Andy Henderson and Mark Vile.

After lunch Cheruiyot and Ouma will speak with Geoff Wightman in front of the audience.

Thie will then interview Andy Young, the coach of Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie, before another practical session involving Becky Lyne and Marilyn Okoro as they explain their “Gracefull Running” philosophy.

Save our sport! British athletes plead with Lord Coe to step in and rescue UK Athletics

Some of Britain’s leading athletes have pleaded with Lord Coe to step in and save the sport in this country after becoming furious with the current regime at UK Athletics.

Sportsmail has been told the impassioned encounter between the World Athletics president and several GB track and field stars took place by chance at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Zurich last Thursday.

The conversation, which followed the Diamond League finals earlier that evening, was described by one source as a ‘proper cry for help – the athletes were really reaching out’.

Some are even considering the drastic step of walking away from UKA’s World Class Programme if changes are not made.

That would mean the damning move of operating entirely outside the British system and foregoing lottery funding for the sake of disassociating with UKA, though they would still be eligible for selection to championships such as the Olympics.

At the heart of the athletes’ exasperation, according to insiders, is a perceived lack of expertise and presence from performance director Sara Symington and the Olympic head coach Christian Malcolm.

They were both appointed last autumn under chief executive Joanna Coates, with the trio mockingly described as the ‘three amigos’ by one figure close to the system.

The appointment of Symington, who worked under Coates at England Netball, has attracted fierce criticism within the sport, with the performance director accused of lacking athletics knowledge.

Malcolm’s selection last year, ahead of the vastly experienced and respected Stephen Maguire, also raised eyebrows. The 42-year-old former GB sprinter has been considered ‘out of his depth’ by several athletes and coaches.

‘There is no attention to detail from any of them,’ said one coach. ‘The situation could be a catastrophe for the sport for years if it does not change.’

It was also flagged up that Symington and Malcolm were on holiday instead of attending the Diamond League finals in Zurich, where Dina Asher-Smith returned to form and Keely Hodgkinson won the 800m title.

The anger from athletes expressed to Lord Coe, which extends to the lack of British-based competitions and questions about medical provisions, comes at a time when some of Britain’s leading coaches are facing growing uncertainty about their positions.

Sportsmail understands a number of coaches and coaching consultants have been told by UKA in the past fortnight that their working hours could be reduced or their consultancies terminated.

Such letters have been sent to Andy Young and Scott Simpson, who respectively led Laura Muir (1500m) and Holly Bradshaw (pole vault) to Olympic medals. A letter was also sent to high jump coach Fuzz Caan, with consultancies held by coaches Tore Gustafsson (hammer), Leon Baptiste (sprints) and Jon Bigg also under threat.

UKA indicated in the letters that future consultant posts will be advertised after their current coaching review, but it has caused alarm that the positions have been adjusted or terminated prior to the establishment of a new system.

While coaching reviews tend to follow an Olympics, and indeed certain changes are quite possibly warranted after an underwhelming haul of just six medals, the ‘cold’ nature of the letters has been criticised.

It was also noted that Young had not received so much as a note of congratulation for orchestrating Muir’s brilliant 1,500m silver medal, though over the weekend it is believed he was told a new contract would be forthcoming.

Among the changes on the way, Rob Denmark is expected to leave his interim head of performance role.

A UKA spokesperson said: ‘Any suggested changes to the coaching structure are not set. We understand for some the changes are difficult, yet for others, some changes are not fast enough.

‘We would urge athletes to continue to feedback to UK Athletics and also engage with the Athlete’s Commission as we are fully committed to ensuring we place athletes first and at the heart of our plans going forward.’

Muir Strengthens Her Lead atop the Diamond League Standings With Season’s Best In Lausanne

Laura Muir (club: Dundee Hawkhill, coach: Andy Young) was the standout British performer as she claimed second place in a season’s best in a highly competitive women’s 1500m in Lausanne.

Muir ran a smart race and kicked with 250 metres to go, leaving a trail of four runners in her wake, only to be caught by Shelby Houlihan (USA) in the closing stages, who set a new meeting record and personal best of 3:57.34.

Muir held off the challenge of the rapidly advancing Sifan Hassan (NED) to clock 3:58.18 and earn herself seven Diamond League points in the process to maintain her lead at the top of the women’s 1500m standings.

After the race, Muir said: “I knew it was going to be a fast race that the girls had asked for. I was happy to sit in on the first half, work hard and use my strength in the second half.  I felt a lot better than I did in the race a couple of weeks ago so it’s a step in the right direction.

“I could see Tsegay was tiring so I thought I had to go at that stage and not leave it to a sprint finish. I just wanted to run as far as I could. I nearly got the win so I’m really pleased with that.”

Fellow Brits Laura Weightman (Steve Cram, Morpeth) and Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill, Liz Nuttall) recorded season’s bests of 4:01.76 and 4:01.98 respectively to take the final two spots in the points.

Commonwealth Games medallist Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark, Poole AC) could not make her way into the points, finishing tenth in 4:06.27.

In the field, Shara Proctor (Rana Reider, Birchfield Harriers) was the best of the Brits in the women’s long jump, claiming four Diamond League points with a best of 6.62m (wind: 2.0m/s). Malaika Mihambo (GER) saved her best jump until last as she matched Ivana Spanovic (SRB) with a mark of 6.90m (1.3m/s), taking victory via countback.

Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson, Thames Valley Harriers) could not replicate her world leading mark of 7.05m set at the Muller British Athletics Championships, finishing seventh with a best effort of 6.48m (-0.1m/s) set in the third round.

Proctor assessed: “It was OK.  I was consistent but not as good as some days.  I have a number of things to work on but I have two weeks before London.  I’m excited to be going back for more training and some technical work.  I made some mistakes tonight and I will fix them for next time.”

Following her jumps, world lead Ugen added: “I was a little bit flat after all the stress I put my body through last weekend, getting the PB. It was hard getting my body going again and jumping that far. I probably need to get back into training and to have a cool down before I get back up again. It was a good competition and I had fun out there, hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be back on top form.”

Lynsey Sharp (Terrence Mahon, Edinburgh AC) clocked a new season’s best of 2:01.22, as she claimed one point in a fast women’s 800m, won by Francine Niyonsaba (BDI) in 1:57.80.

Jack Green (June Pews, Kent) made the most of being promoted from the B-race into the Diamond League race by clocking 49.52. Abderrahman Samba (QAT) won the race in 47.42 – his seventh victory on the circuit this season.

Green added: “They’re fast boys!  This event has really stepped up so it’s about time I did as well.  I have lots of work to do.  It’s hard to race here just after the trials but if you’re seeking excellence, this is the kind of thing you need to be able to do and get better at.  This is a very long year, starting with the Commonwealths. I’m still holding on, just.

“Samba is impressive, being able to put together races back to back, 46 seconds one week, then 47. He is consistently there all the time, he’s obviously put the work in. But it is not just that because he’s executing races, whatever the conditions – which in 400m hurdles is really hard to do. I’m looking forward to being in more races with him and hopefully watching him against Benjamin next year.”

Martyn Rooney (Graham Hedman, Croydon) took victory in the men’s 400m B-race in 46.16, a shade outside his season’s best, with Owen Smith (Matt Elias, Cardiff) third in 46.90.

Marcel Hug (SUI) claimed a closely fought men’s wheelchair 1500m in a tight finish in 3:19.87 with Great Britain’s Richard Chiassaro (Jennifer Banks, Harlow AC) fourth in 3:20.75.

Niall Flannery (Matt Elias, Gateshead Harriers) came home fourth in the men’s 400m hurdles in 50.57, behind Luke Campbell (GER) who clocked 49.54 to take victory, with Jodie Williams (Stuart McMillan, Herts Phoenix) producing a good run to finish fourth in women’s 200m in 22.85, a race won by Gabrielle Thomas (USA) in 22.47.


Laura Muir shuts out Semenya debate, happy to race anyone

A fan of roller-coasters, Laura Muir is not the kind of person to worry about life’s ups and downs. Happy to strap herself in and roll with it.

That is why, while other athletes are wondering what recent IAAF rulings regarding testosterone levels will mean for their chances of overcoming the likes of Caster Semenya,
Muir, who was yesterday named as an official ambassador for the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow in March 2019, declared herself willing to take on whoever lines up against her on the start line.

South African Semenya, who suffers from hyperandrogenism, has dominated middle distance running, but the recent directives from the sport’s governing body means she may have to reduce her natural hormone levels if she wants to compete in the major events.

“I think it’s a very difficult situation. And I don’t know that there’s really a right or wrong answer. All I can do as an athlete is focus on myself,” said Muir. “Whoever is on the start line, I’ll race against. If she’s there, that’s fine, I’m more than happy to race against her. She’s a lovely person. I’ve raced against her quite a lot in the past and that’s all you can do. You have to leave it up to the governing bodies as to what happens. I’m happy to race against her. No problem.”

Muir will celebrate the end of her veterinary studies with a thrill fest at US theme park Six Flags next week aware that, as someone who has tested her own mettle for years, combining academic achievement with an athletics career that has also been on the up, she will now be able to focus all her energies on her track endeavours.

Sitting her final exam on Monday, the 24-year-old, who sat out the Commonwealth Games to complete a work placement and prepare for her finals, chose to forego wild partying to celebrate and instead has been catching up on sleep and looking forward to tackling rides like Batman, Ninja, Full Throttle and Scream as she heads Stateside for some adrenaline-boosting fun before she turns her attentions back to the business of racing, at the Diamond League event in Eugene, Oregon, on 26 May.

The biggest thrill of them all could come from her exam results, which will be posted online while she is embroiled in the business of enjoying herself. “I might be on a roller-coaster when I get my results! I would be like ‘yeah’ or maybe ‘yeah!!’. I think it is Wednesday next week that I get them,” added Muir.

The excitement for everyone else is in seeing how far she can push herself now that she has fewer off-track demands to contend with. “I don’t know how things are going to go now. Obviously I am going to have that extra time but sometimes when you have that extra time you aren’t as productive. But it will help a lot more in terms of preparation for competitions. I won’t have to dash here and there and I can focus on recovering better from sessions.

“It’s exciting. At the same time, I’ve still run a 3.55 [over 1,500m]. Can I run faster than that? I don’t know. But the past few years have been so good, it will be exciting to see what a bit more time will deliver.”

This year offers her and her coach Andy Young time to experiment with different distances, tackling anything from 800m up to 10,000m if Young gets his way. Muir is not quite ready to put in that many laps but with the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m too close on the schedule for the upcoming European Championships in Berlin,
she has already ruled out 
doubling up there.

“I don’t even know what distance I’ll be doing yet. But, coming up, we have a good mix of events; Europeans then a home European Indoors, the World Championships in Doha, next year. There are lots of different environments, different situations, and it’s all good practice building up to the Olympics.”


Laura Muir ditches Nike Oregon Project coach

Scottish middle-distance runner Laura Muir has reneged on a plan to join up with Nike Oregon coach Dave McHenry.

Reports emerged on Thursday of her plans to link up with the project, which is run by Mo Farah’s ex-coach Alberto Salazar, who is the subject of a US anti-doping investigation.

British 1500m record-holder Muir suggested the media speculation was a distraction putting her under unwanted stress.

“At a busy time in my life, with my degree in veterinary medicine coming to a critical stage and my running career going so well, I need to minimise distractions and stresses to allow me to focus on my athletics and studies.

“I have no concerns about Dave McHenry and was hugely impressed when I met him but, after some reflection, we have decided not to start working with him as planned and not to pursue this relationship further.”

Muir has previously said she does not speak to rival Genzebe Dibaba after her coach, Jama Aden, a coach arrested as part of an anti-doping investigation.

Aden denies any doping offences, while Ethiopian world champion Dibaba has always maintained she is clean.

Muir said she needed to “minimise distractions and stresses” to allow her to focus on athletics and her degree in veterinary medicine.

Muir, who won 1500m silver and 3,000m bronze at the World Indoor Championships in March, will continue to be coached by Andy Young.

Hellen Obiri finishes distant fourth as Genzebe Dibaba retains 3000m title

A thrilling start to the IAAF World Indoor Championships track programme ends with a first global medal for Britain’s Muir

What a start to the track programme at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham on Thursday evening, with a tremendous 3000m race and atmosphere heightened by a top British athlete in the thick of the battle for medals.

Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia won a thrilling race to claim her third successive world indoor 3000m title as Laura Muir took the bronze.

Muir went into this event as the double European indoor champion but her global record against tougher opposition had previously been less convincing.

It was led by defending champion Dibaba, the outdoor 1500m and indoor 3000m world record-holder. She had maybe not looked at her best this winter but still easily topped the 2018 world 1500m and 3000m lists and was bidding to win Ethiopia’s eighth gold in the last nine editions where they have won a total of 14 medals.

Much of that success had not only been down to Dibaba but to Meseret Defar, who had won four golds, two silvers and a bronze over those eight championships. With Defar now retired from the track, the East African nation surprisingly chose junior Fantu Worku rather than 2016 runner-up Dawit Seyaum as their second option.

Also in the field was the 2017 world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri and the 2016 world indoor 1500m champion Sifan Hassan, who won the world 5000m bronze in 2017.

Other possible medal contenders were expected to be Shelby Houlihan, who finished with a 28-second last 200m to win the US Champs, Germany’s European under-23 1500m champion Konstanze Klosterhalfen and former European 5000m champion Meraf Bahta of Sweden.

Most of the home crowd’s attention though was on Muir. Scotland have a good record in the event with Yvonne Murray having won by the record margin of 12 seconds in 1993 and Liz McColgan was second in 1988.

Liz’s daughter Eilish was Muir’s team-mate here and, like Muir, is doubling up at 1500m. They have a much simpler task than McColgan senior had 30 years ago.

She had 13 minutes recovery after her world record-pace 3000m and still placed sixth in the shorter event. They have a whole day to the heats.

The race started at a relative jog with Muir ahead in 36 seconds with McColgan second and Dibaba at the back of the field of 14.

The first 400m was completed in 75.31 with Muir still ahead. “We didn’t think anyone would take it out hard,” said Andy Young, Muir’s coach, “and I said to Laura that if she found herself at the front then that’s fine as she’d be running the shortest distance, staying out of trouble and with no wind obviously as it’s indoors.”

The pace got slower rather than faster as Muir led the pack through 800m in 2:35.76 – over 80 seconds for that second 400m which is outside 10 minutes pace.

Just before the completion of the first kilometre, Klosterhalfen pushed ahead and led through the mark in 3:14.67 and the pace picked up significantly.

Halfway was reached with the German ahead in 4:41 and 1600m in 4:58.66. The next 400m she kept the pressure on with a 69-second section and gradually the contenders began to emerge as 2000m was reached in 6:07.62.

Muir had been running on the inside in fourth or fifth but was having trouble moving up on the outside such was the increased tempo. Dibaba then shot ahead in the final kilometre and began even more of a drive for home and now eight were left in the battle for medals.

The 400m between 2000m and 2400m was run in 64.5 and Dibaba now had a small lead with Obiri, Klosterhalfen, Hassan and Muir the only likely challengers. The Ethiopian’s 400m up to the bell was a vicious 62.43 and she was now clear but Hassan and Muir were in hot pursuit and began to close along the back straight.

Dibaba held her form in covering that last circuit in 30.44 but even faster were her two pursuers. Muir got right up to the Dutch athlete’s shoulder and sensing Muir was closing, she moved from the inside to lane three, risking disqualification, and the pair finished about four metres back and separated by a 10th of a second.

Dibaba’s final kilometre was 2:37 – around 7:52 pace – and the second half a very fast 4:04, which was 37 seconds quicker than the first half!

“I’m very happy to be indoor champion for the third time,” said Dibaba. “This is a great competition and the race was fantastic. This day is for me and my country.

“It was a tactical race and I controlled all the competitors. With 1000m left they all pushed very hard and at that moment I had to go and win the race.

“I’m surprised I wasn’t good in 2017 but 2018 is my time. Tomorrow in the 1500m I will try to get gold medal number two.”

Muir was delighted with her first global medal and said: “Thank you to the crowd. I had to dig in on that last lap. I ran as hard as I could.

“I felt so much more relaxed here than I was at Sopot four years ago when the pressure got to me. I did not intend to lead, just to stay out of trouble and then it was a case of following the pace and trying to run on the inside but stay in contact and wait for the move.

“I feel I’m improving every year and getting stronger.”

Young added: “It was maybe the most stacked field of the championships, unless you also include the (women’s) 1500m too! So to come out with a medal in that situation is fantastic. She came so close to a silver medal as well, but it was still a great race.”

Obiri was a distant fourth, four seconds behind Muir, with Houlihan using her kick for fifth as Klosterhalfen faded to seventh.

Source: athleticsweekly.com