Christian Malcolm becomes 1st Black head coach for British Athletics’ Olympic program


Christian Malcolm, a former sprinter who won medals at the world and European championships, was hired Thursday as head coach of Britain’s Olympic track program.

Malcolm will take up his new role at British Athletics after spending 20 months as the head of performance and coaching at Athletics Australia.

The 41-year-old Malcolm, who took part in four Olympics, becomes the first Black head coach on British Athletics’ Olympic program. Paula Dunn, another former sprinter, is currently head coach of the Paralympic program and was hired in 2012.

British Athletics hired Joanna Coates as chief executive in March and she said in an interview with British newspaper The Mirror in June that there are not enough Black and female coaches and administrators in sports.

Sara Symington, a former Olympic cyclist, was hired last month as performance director.

The organization said Malcolm will “work alongside athletes and coaches to support performances across all disciplines and event groups, as well as lead the Britain and Northern Ireland senior teams at major championships.”

Returning to the fold

Malcolm previously worked as British Athletics’ technical lead for sprint relays.

As a sprinter, he won two gold medals at the junior worlds in 1998 and two bronze medals in relays at world championships. Malcolm also won medals at the World and European Indoors and the Commonwealth Games.

He retired in 2014.

“Words can’t describe how excited I am to have the opportunity to take this role on and be part of a new start for British Athletics,” Malcolm said. “As an athlete I knew I wanted to give back to the sport when I finished competing.”

Coates said her organization was impressed by Malcolm’s desire for “putting the athlete first, championing welfare and also a change in culture that will really enhance the world class program.”

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