Paula Dunn Takes Helm as Interim Head Coach at UK Athletics


Paula Dunn Takes Helm as Interim Head Coach at UK Athletics

Following the departure of Stephen Maguire, UK Athletics has announced the appointment of Paula Dunn as the interim head coach. Dunn, who served as the Paralympic head coach for a decade before transitioning to the role of team leader for major athletics championships in 2022, will now lead the performance programme through the upcoming Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Expressing her enthusiasm for the role, Dunn stated, “I’m looking forward to working with the performance staff and athletes once more at this incredibly important time for the GB and NI team.” She highlighted the excellent results achieved in Paris and Budapest during the World Para Athletics Championships and World Championships, emphasizing the importance of providing world-class support for athletes.

Paula Dunn’s extensive experience in leading athletics positions her as a key figure in overseeing the performance programme toward the critical events in 2024. UKA chief executive Jack Buckner emphasized Dunn’s track record in performance and her valuable knowledge, stating, “2024 is a very important year for the sport with a home World Indoor Championships, a Para World Championships, European Championships, as well as the Olympics and Paralympics.”

The appointment of Paula Dunn comes after the sudden departure of Stephen Maguire as technical director. Maguire, who oversaw a highly successful World Championships in Budapest, left his position with immediate effect. Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith criticized the decision as “incredibly short-sighted” and called for an explanation from UK Athletics.

In a separate development, Michelle Yeoh, the Oscar-winning actress, has been voted in as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Yeoh, known for her roles in films like “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” expressed her childhood dream of being an Olympian. A former Malaysian junior squash champion, Yeoh joins the IOC as one of eight new proposed members, bringing her passion for sports and commitment to the Olympic family.

The 61-year-old Yeoh, married to former FIA head Jean Todt, brings a diverse background to the IOC, having excelled in squash and gained recognition for her contributions to film and international causes. Her addition to the IOC further enriches the committee with varied expertise and perspectives.

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