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2x Olympic Medalist Breaks Silence on Stunning Expulsion of Key Track and Field Figure in Budapest World Championship Campaign

Published 10/18/2023, 5:37 AM EDT

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The world of track and field received a massive shock when a highly talented individual was sacked from his position. The news has spread like wildfire around the globe, and UK Athletics is at the ground zero of everything. The sports body recently released a notice informing the termination of its technical director.

Stephen Maguire joined UK Athletics as its Technical Director 16 months ago and produced excellent results at the 2023 WAC. Thus, his sudden sacking doesn’t make sense to many people. Responding to this arbitrary action, Great Britain’s two-time track and field bronze medalist, Dina Asher-Smith, has directly questioned UK Athletics. In fact, Smith also targeted the sports body for the action in an Olympic year.

Dina Asher-Smith pins down track and field body

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The UK Athletics released a very brief notice to inform the departure of Stephen Maguire. The notice carried the words, “UK Athletics have announced that Stephen Maguire will leave his role as Technical Director with immediate effect. An Interim Head Coach will be announced in due course, until then no further comment will be made.” The statement doesn’t carry any reasons for his termination and ends on a cold note. The arbitrariness and suddenness of the move have stunned many in the track and field world.

Dina Asher-Smith is one of Great Britain’s elite sprinters who has regularly brought several international medals home. The star athlete posted a story on her Instagram with a screenshot of the notice with an attached caption. Smith wrote, “Would love to see a full explanation of the reasoning behind this disappointing decision for the athletes and our performances.” The two-time Olympic bronze medalist also praised Maguire for his excellent contribution, something which UK Athletics didn’t do.

“Stephen has been phenomenal, so dedicated, and has an excellent understanding of what it takes to be successful at track and field.” She also noted that Maguire had produced a staunch 10 medals at Budapest, which aligned Great Britain on a great trajectory for Paris. Dina Asher Smith’s frustration was very apparent from her words. In fact, she also said that the move by the sports body was very short-sighted.

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The possible reasons for termination and its consequences

The athlete said that the decision was very short-sighted and has jeopardized the athletes in their Olympic year. While UK Athletics didn’t state the reasons for the abrupt termination of Maguire, several reasons stand out in plain sight that possibly explain his expulsion. UK Athletics has been facing budget issues for quite some time now. The track and field body has not been able to properly manage its funds for a long time and its finances are falling apart. Quite shockingly, despite the London Diamond League being sold out, the sports body still registered a significant loss from it. 

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Stephen Maguire had raised the issue several times, which ultimately led the body to expel him. During his appointment, UK Athletics stated that Maguire was the best person to be the torchbearer for Paris and LA. However, the body has now sacked him without even thanking him for his achievements in Budapest. The decision has forced Dina Asher-Smith to go to Austin, Texas for her training. Will more Great Britain athletes follow in her footsteps? Will Great Britain be able to stabilize its athletes before the Paris Olympics begin?

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Written by:

Ankit Singh

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Ankit Singh is a pro writer for US Sports at Essentially Sports. This surfing enthusiast has kept his watchful eye on all things Kelly Slater. With his prior experience as a senior writer for popular blogs in the country, Ankit brings his attention to detail to the nuances of every turn, snap, 360, and alley-oop on the surfboard.
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY