• Athletics

Next three years vital for British athletics, says Black

ESPN staff
August 19, 2014
Great Britain won a total of 12 gold medals in Zurich © Getty Images

Great Britain's performance director Neil Black believes the next three years are crucial for his athletes following their unprecedented success at the European Championships.

Britain topped the medal table in Zurich after winning a total of 23 medals - which included 12 golds - beating the previous best of 19 from Barcelona four years ago.

Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, the men's 400m relay quartet and both sprint relay teams won gold on the final day in Switzerland to ensure Britain also beat their record of gold medals by three.

But while Black has hailed his record-breaking team, he wants the athletes to repeat their success over the next three years - at the Olympics in Rio in 2016 and the World Championships in Beijing next year and London in 2017.

"We've got to knuckle down and look towards the next three years which are probably the most important three years for British Athletics that have ever been," Black said, who was appointed in 2012.

"And I think of that in terms of London as well. It's massive what we've now got to do.

"What we were doing in the run-up to 2012, we've just maintained and refined a little bit and developed.

"The work that the coaches have done, the development of the athletes, the building of the support teams around it, beginning to convert the juniors through to the senior ranks. This is nothing new, this is what we said we were doing going into 2012 and moving on."

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