Paula Dunn named interim head coach of UK Athletics after Stephen Maguire exit

Paula Dunn has been appointed interim head coach at UK Athletics following the departure of Stephen Maguire.

The 58-year-old, who was Paralympic head coach for 10 years before taking the role of team leader for major athletics championships in 2022, will lead the Performance programme through next year’s Paris Olympics and Paralympic Games.

“I’m looking forward to working with the performance staff and athletes once more at this incredibly important time for the GB and NI team,” Dunn said.

“The results from Paris (World Para Athletics Championships) and Budapest (World Championships) this summer were excellent, and I want to ensure we keep providing world-class support in the approach to Paris and help every athlete perform at their very best.

“There isn’t a moment to lose, and I am excited to rejoin UKA and help the team to succeed.”

UKA chief executive Jack Buckner said: “Paula has a huge amount of experience in leading athletics and her track record in performance means she is the best person to oversee the Performance programme towards Paris.

“2024 is a very important year for the sport with a home World Indoor Championships, a Para World Championships, European Championships as well as the Olympics and Paralympics.

“She is coming in at a critical time for the performance team, but her knowledge and experience will make a huge impact.”

UKA announced on Tuesday that Maguire was leaving his position as technical director with immediate effect, less than two months after overseeing a very successful World Championships in Budapest, with the British team equalling their best ever medal haul of 10.

Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith labelled the “snap decision” as “incredibly short-sighted” on Instagram and called for an explanation from UKA.