After Team GB’s defeat, Michael Johnson argued that “Britain encourages mediocrity.”
According to newly discovered records, MICHAEL JOHNSON once argued that Britain “rewards mediocrity” and blamed Team GB athletes’ disappointments on a “system” that causes them to “lose their hunger.”
Dina Asher-Smith, a great British sprinter, withdrew from the 200m final today owing to a hamstring injury after failing to qualify for the 100m final. Johnson, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, declared just days before her shattering loss in the 100m semi-finals that the 25-year-old was “ready to pick up the baton of inspiration.” In an article for The Times, Johnson, one of the leading BBC analysts for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, said that he hoped Asher-Smith would take the pressure “in stride.”
The American, on the other hand, has already spoken out against apparent weaknesses in the British system for promoting British athletes.
He said that the culture “rewards the best of Britain, not the best of the globe.”
He told the BBC that he believes the entire structure should be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up.
His remarks were made in 2006, following a string of gaffes by sprinters during the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
In the 100m, Mark Lewis-Francis was disqualified for false starting, and in the 4x100m relay, he failed to collect the baton from Marlon Devonish.
Lewis-Francis and Devonish were two of the four relay racers who had previously won gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
“[British sprinters] have lost their hunger, and it is the system that causes them to lose their hunger,” Johnson told the BBC.
“Middle performance is rewarded by the system. It honors the best of Great Britain, not the greatest of the world.
“When you look at who will be the next [in British sprinting], there isn’t anyone.
“Young athletes emerge with promise, but if they rise through the ranks, they will follow in their footsteps.
“You have to dismantle everything and start from the ground up.
“You have to look at it and admit it didn’t work. Team GB is now ranked sixth in the medal standings at the Tokyo Olympics, with eight gold medals, nine silver medals, and eleven bronze medals.
Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown both won silver medals in the triathlon, despite the fact that no gold medals were awarded in athletics.
Johnson, who has been a member of the BBC’s Olympic presenting crew since Beijing 2008, has recently been critical of Team GB.
Following the year 2017, “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”