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York athletics ace Richard Buck switches coach
A COACHING shake-up is aimed at bagging athlete Richard Buck Commonwealth Games glory next year.
The 26-year-old City of York Athletic Club 400 metres runner has teamed up with Nick Dakin, director of coaching for Loughborough Students’ Athletics, as he looks to regain his consistency and force his way back into medal contention.
One-lap specialist Buck has dropped off the list of athletes that will be supported by Lottery funding through the World Class Performance Programme for the next 12 months.
It is a decision he was expecting after failing to make the Great Britain team for the World Championships in Moscow in August, but still disappointing considering he was part of the relay side that took European Indoor Championship gold in Gothenburg and won the European Team Championships.
But, back in studies for an MSC and also directing his energies filming, editing and handling day-to-day administration for coaches’ website UCoach, the seven-time medallist is content on and off the track.
He is now in winter training as he prepares for another big year which he hopes will bring more medal glory.
“It’s not great but I feel like I am in a better spot than I was in 2011 when I last lost the funding,” Buck said of the decision.
“I wasn’t too surprised. I realised when I had a bad weekend at the trials that funding would be an incredibly long shot.
“It’s not a personal decision against me and it’s hard for these guys to come to an agreement that will please everyone.
“I have to make sure I use it as a positive again and make some good choices going forward.”
One of those choices has been the recruitment of Dakin, who specialises in the 400m hurdles and 400m, and has been working with Buck for about three weeks.
He added: “He has a big history having worked with Euan Murray in the past and more recently with Martyn Rooney. It wasn’t easy to part with Steve Fudge but we did so on very good terms.
“It was a mutual decision. It’s never easy for a coach to move to something they don’t believe in. Steve focused on a very volume programme and the training was losing its effectiveness.
“It’s a short career and you have got to take care of yourself and not be sat there later wishing you had made a move.
“Last year was frustrating and I struggled to maintain my consistency, which was always there in the past. It was a bit of a shock to my system.
“I am very excited about next year and I am looking forward to it.”
Dakin and Buck are already working hard on a new training programme that will maximise his chances of getting into the England team that competes in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next summer.
And it could mean changes to his indoor programme – an arena where Buck has shone in the past.
“The deadline for qualification for the Commonwealth Games is quite early next year. It’s June 1,” he added. “The question is whether we do a full indoor season or whether to open the outdoor season early – take a break in mid-season – and then come back for the majors.
“The priority is the Commonwealth Games. I am really excited about that. I love big championships and particularly when they are in the UK.
“Glasgow is a great city to compete in and I absolutely love it in Scotland. It’s a great target to have.”
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