Former men’s 110mh world record holder and now BBC athletics pundit Colin Jackson has backed fellow Welshman Dai Greene’s decision to part with his coach Malcolm Arnold.
Greene announced his decision to look for a new coach after five years’ with Arnold saying he needed a “change of scene” to try and regain the form which saw him win the 400mh world title in 2011. Under Arnold’s tutelage, Greene also won Commonwealth and European gold and was a part of the men’s GB 4x400m relay squad.
Jackson, who also won gold in 1993 and 1999 when coached by Arnold, said the break might be a good thing for Greene, whose 47.87s from 2012 puts him second on the UK all-time list, as he struggles to get back to his best in time for Rio 2016.
“I always think it’s important athletes move when it’s right for them,” said Jackson.
“If Dai feels as if he has had enough from Malcolm then it’s the right decision.
“Thing are different in Dai’s life now and the injuries he has suffered have a lot to do with that.
“Maybe it is time for him to move so I would say go for it.”
Greene only competed twice during the 2014 track season, where he could only manage fourth place in his heat at the Commonwealth Games. Since becoming world champion in Daegu in 2011, the Swansea athlete has been plagued by injury and has not been able to recapture that level of performance.
But Jackson feels Greene can get back to his best with the right coach, even if it might take a while for him to get there.
“Once Dai is 100 per cent healthy he can focus on everything else because he has had a torrid time over the last three years.
“One of his big assets is that he is an endurance athlete with great rhythm and he can get back to the top of his game.
“He is a grafter and works hard.
“He needs to get healthy for another 18 months and it might take that long before we see the best of Dai again.
“He still has a lot to aim for with the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the World Championships in London a year later.
“Dai will take a lot of heart from what Felix Sanchez managed at London 2012 when he won Olympic gold aged 34, eight years after his first title.”
Greene will continue to be trained by Arnold, who also has high-profile hurdlers Elidh Child, Lawrence Clarke and Andrew Pozzi in his camp, until a new coach can be found. Arnold is still the GB team’s hurdles coach too so should Greene get back into the national team, the pair will be working together again.
“Malcolm and I have had a good run at things,” Greene told Wales Online.
“I’ve learned so much under his tutelage and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be sitting here, I wouldn’t be being interviewed and I wouldn’t have had the medals I have won.
“So I’ll be forever grateful to him for what we managed to achieve.”