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Peter Coe, who died aged 88, was an athletics coach best known for masterminding his son Sebastian’srecord-br eaking and medal-winningsuccess es.Lord Coe delayed his trip to the Beijing Games to be by his father’s bedside during his illness.But the Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic games arrivedin Beijing in the early hours of 9 August , 2008, and his father died several hours later.Peter Coe was a former mechanical engineer who turned his hand to coaching when he saw the flaws in the training methods his teenaged son was using at Hallamshire Harriers athletics club in Sheffield.He reinvented the approach to middle distance running, scrapping the long runs in favour of shorter, more intense sprints that boosted Seb’s fitness and helped him win Gold in the 1500m at the Moscow and LA games in 1980 and 1984.Mr Coe was born in London in 1919. At the very start of the Second World War he was on board a merchant navy ship that was torpedoed by a German destroyer. He spent much of the conflict in POW camps but twice escaped.After the war he moved to Sheffield where he worked at a cutlery factory. He was himself a keen athlete and competed in bike races. Nevertheless, he started his coaching from scratch, having to learn modern coaching techniques from manuals written in German and Russian which he translated himself.The young Seb was a scrawny child - the second of four children born to Peter and Angela Coe - and many watched his punishing training with trepidation, but the boy followed his father’s instructions to the letter and reaped the rewards in later life. At times Mr Coe was a ruthless instructor and even made his boy run on Christmas Day.After the 1980s, a decade in which Sebastian Coe was famous for his rivalry with fellow Brits Steve Ovett and Steve Cram, Peter wrote two books on his coaching methods which had by now been adopted throughout the sport.Mr Coe first became ill after the death of his wifein 2005 . British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan paid tribute to him: “In the world of coaching and inspiring and influencing there are few men in the history of British athletics of whom it could be said that they were truly among the greatest. He had a quiet determination and concentration on detail.“Peter Coe’s contribution to Seb’s success, to British athletics and to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was always of gold medal standard."
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Viewed by: 1304 visitors. Uploaded: 10 years ago
Published in: Online.
Published from: August 10, 2008.
Region: National
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