News05 Apr 1999

Sebastian Coe new post to give British athletics a commercial boost


Sebastian Coe new post to give British athletics a commercial boost

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) _ Two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe was appointed Tuesday as chairman of UK Athletics' commercial arm, Fast Track Events. Coe, who won Olympic gold in the 1,500 meters in 1980 and 1984, is among the all-time greats in British sports.

Since retiring from top-flight track and field, Coe has been a member of parliament and most recently has been private secretary and adviser to British opposition leader William Hague.

Fast Track Events founder Alan Pascoe said Coe would bring valuable commercial experience to the organization. ``Seb has an unrivalled knowledge of what it takes to succeed in the sport whilst bringing with him the integrity, respect and commercial contacts he has developed both as an athlete and a politician,'' Pascoe said. ``He can play a vital role...to help secure our shared aims in terms of the image of the sport and its links with the commercial and political world.''

British athletics is emerging from a slump in international performances and the restructuring of the sport's national organizing body after a financial crisis. Coe said he was looking forward to playing an active role in the direction the sport takes in the buildup to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

One of his key roles will be to campaign to attact major championships to Britain. ``Since retiring from athletics I have maintained a keen interest in the sport and am excited by the prospect of being able to contribute to its future success,'' Coe said. ``The sport is well on the road to recovery.''