Athletics Ireland has announced that retired British sprinter Christian Malcolm has been recruited as its new Performance Sprints Lead, tasked with overseeing the development of Irish sprinting.
The role is understood to be part-time, and will include supporting key coach-athlete pairs, mentoring Irish coaches and overseeing the relay programmes.
At a time when Irish athletics has a flood of emerging talent, Malcolm's appointment marks a key step forward in the steady professionalisation of Irish coaching structures - which is still very much a work in progress.
The 43-year-old brings extensive experience to the role, having previously served as head coach with Australian Athletics before returning to Britain in September 2020 to take up the role of Head Coach with UK Athletics, where he was highly regarded by coaches and athletes alike.
Prior to his move to Australian Athletics, Malcolm was an integral part of Britain's relay success at the World Championship in London in 2017, where they won medals in all four events, including gold in the men's 4x100m.
As an athlete, Malcolm won the world U20 100m and 200m titles in 1998 and was European indoor champion over 200m in 2000, along with winning world indoor 200m silver in 2001. He finished fifth over 200m at the Olympic Games in 2000 and fifth again in 2008, while also winning two sprint relay medals for Britain at World Championship level.
“We’re delighted that Christian will join our team and believe he can add real value to our elite sprinters and their coaches, and our relay squads, which have seen unprecedented levels of success in recent years," said Paul McNamara, Athletics Ireland's High Performance Director. "Christian brings significant experience and insight from large programmes with major success on the global stage, and I’ve no doubt he will positively impact on this trajectory of success."
Malcolm said: "I’m really excited to take on this role as Ireland builds towards Paris 2024 and beyond. There is some really exciting young talent in the system, talent that’s being noticed on a global stage and I’m keen to support what our coach-athlete pairs are trying to achieve and to build on the success of the relay programme. The sprinting landscape here reminds me so much of my early days in the sport in Newport, Wales and the future looks very exciting.”