IAAF President Sebastian Coe with Catherine Freeman in Rio (IAAF) © Copyright
News Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Coe and Freeman talk track in Rio

IAAF President Sebastian Coe and athletics legend Catherine Freeman met up today at Rio's Olympic stadium.

During the morning athletics session the two Olympic champions got chatting at the warm-up track which at every competition is the hub of news and discussion about the sport for coaches and athletes, a melting pot of ideas and a barometer of opinion.

Freeman, the icon of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and 400m champion at those Games, is attending the Rio Olympics mentoring Australian 400m runner Morgan Mitchell, who qualified well from this morning's heats.

Freeman is not coaching; she wants simply to inspire and give confidence. This is also the central mission of her charitable foundation which helps 'indigenous children experience their potential in school and beyond'. In this process Freeman gives back to the aboriginal community in Australia and lends support and inspires others to follow their goals in society.

Coe and Freeman during their chat had the opportunity to discuss present day athletics, its future, grass roots and development and the IAAF's reform process.

"It's always good to chat with great champions of athletics and discuss and listen to their views about the future of our sport," commented Sebastian Coe. "We must engage with athletes' opinions and draw upon their knowledge to build a future based upon their needs and aspirations."

Visiting warm-up, a zone so familiar to any athlete, is instinctive for Coe and essential during the on-going consultation surrounding governance reform of the federation. Yesterday Coe met with defending Olympic 400m champion Kirani James and Ashton Eaton’s coach Harry Marra.