Van Commenee to quit
Dutchman to walk away from post in December
Last Updated: September 12, 2012 8:32am
Charles van Commenee will stand down as the head of UK Athletics in December after Team GB failed to reach its medal target at the London Olympics.
The 54-year-old Dutchman insisted he would quit if he could not deliver eight track and field medals and London 2012's haul fell two short, though four of the six medals were golds.
Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford provided a 'Super Saturday' to remember in the Olympic Stadium, before Farah triumphed again a week later, but the buzz created by Team GB's overall success has not swayed Van Commenee.
He will now leave the UKA when his contract expires in December, with a new leadership team expected to be unveiled next week.
"Whilst I am thankful for the kind comments and wishes I have received in recent weeks, I believe my decision has the interests of British athletics at its heart in sustaining this culture."
Charles van Commenee Quotes of the week
Before London 2012 Van Commenee said: "If I hold athletes and coaches accountable every day, how could I work over the next four years if I am not held accountable myself?
And at the end of the Games he added: "I have mixed emotions. We haven't met the target that was set but we provided some awesome athletics and some iconic moments that will remain forever with the British nation, which fills me with pride."
UK Athletics were prepared to give Van Commenee, who took up the post in 2009, a new deal but he decided to remain true to his own promise to quit if the target was not met.
The jubilation of the golds for Ennis, Rutherford and Farah's double camouflaged the fact that there were a number of disappointments in track and field.
Immediately after the Olympics, Van Commenee said it was "weird" that people still wanted him to stay despite not making the target and agreed he would be undermined by his previous pledge if he stayed in his post.
He said on Tuesday: "(UKA chief executive) Niels de Vos and I have worked hard to implement accountability as it is vital to the culture of elite sport, and this has been absolutely central to what we have achieved here in a short space of time.
"Whilst I am thankful for the kind comments and wishes I have received in recent weeks, I believe my decision has the interests of British athletics at its heart in sustaining this culture.
"I am happy the future is looking promising with the talent that is about to break through now. But now it needs the new energy and approach by the new leadership team through to 2017.
"As CEO Niels has always had an eye on the eventuality of my leaving - indeed he and I have worked together to put in place an excellent succession plan for the sport. I look forward to seeing the future successes for the GB & NI team through to Rio and the World Championships in London."
De Vos said: "Charles has done an excellent job preparing British Athletics for the 2012 Olympic Games. We have spoken daily for the last four years and have discussed the post 2012 position almost as often.
"He and I have always been aware of the possibility of him leaving and we are confident that our long term plan will enable us to continue building on the success we achieved in London.
"There is no doubt Charles has helped to transform our culture, and we can now look forward to further success under the leadership of a new team."