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Great Britain did not win a single gold medal in the Olympic Games since the 1996 Atlanta Games. Athletes fear that the sport is in decline in Great Britain and are asking 73-year-old Brendan Foster to take over the helm.

Next year (2022), the global athletics schedule will include the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Munich European Championships, and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The UK currently has a strong crop of young talent, however, the leadership and direction of UK Athletics is of great concern.

According to Sportsmail (Dailymail), apparently, a letter from top-level athletes to UK Sport reads, “The role of chair is being publicly advertised. There is a strong feeling in the domestic sport that either UK Sport should make a direct approach to Sir Brendan Foster to take on the role with a clear remit to make whatever changes to the board and executive he feels necessary. 

Sir Brendan’s knowledge of the sport, his contacts for example with the BBC, his commercial expertise, and the respect in which he is held all make him the perfect candidate. All aspects of the impending Great North Run (founded by Foster in 1981) demonstrate why he is the right person at this time.”

Current chairman Nic Coward is set to step down from the position.

Much of the panic stems from the financial turmoil that UK Athletics is experiencing. The poor performance at the Tokyo Olympics means the loss of their contract with the British Broadcasting Corporation, which will mean the loss of a major funding source.

Foster started the Great North Run and the Great Run Company 40 years ago. The 2021 edition of The Great North Run was in limbo even at the start of the year. It is the largest half-marathon in the world. With the pandemic, he feared that it may not happen.

Foster won a bronze medal during the 1976 Montreal Olympics in the 10,000m event. Two years later he picked up a gold medal during the 1978 Edmonton Commonwealth Games. By 1981, Foster became the UK Managing Director of Nike. He has worked as a broadcaster for the BBC. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2020.

There is more to come of this, stay tuned.

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