Olympic Games: Cricket chief gets key Olympics role

Cricket executive Simon Timson has been appointed to mastermind the elite performance system for Britain's top athletes in the run-up to the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

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Simon Timson will become UK Sport's performance director in January 2013

Timson, the ECB's head of the England development programme and science and medicine, succeeds Peter Keen as UK Sport's performance director in January 2013.

He has big shoes to fill as Keen is the man who drove the Government's successful but tough no-compromise approach to sports funding and performance which saw Britain clinch third place in both the Olympic and Paralympic medals tables at London 2012.

Team GB athletes won 65 medals, including 29 gold, at the Olympics while British Paralympians won 120 medals, including 34 golds. Keen, a former elite cyclist, quit as performance director in May to become UK Sport's special advisor for performance.

Timson said: "I feel confident the system possesses the knowledge, expertise and tools required to sustain success into the future and will be looking to the lessons learned from the London cycle to see where there is room for improvement.

"London 2012 certainly inspired a generation, and I'm looking forward to working with UK Sport's key partners, particularly the Olympic and Paralympic sports, to further develop the high performance system and enable more athletes to achieve the ambitions London has inspired within them in Sochi, Rio and beyond."

He will be in charge of "shaping" the performance investment strategy and working with the performance directors from all the Olympic and Paralympic sports, UK Sport said.

Overseeing the technical and strategic teams which backs the sports and building on the work that has to be carried out with key organisations such as the Institutes of Sport, the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association are also among his responsibilities.

Timson was British Skeleton's sports director from 2000 to 2006, kick-starting a period in which the sport has won medals at every Olympics since Salt Lake City 2002.

UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl described Timson as a "stand-out candidate". She said: "I look forward to working with him to maintain our competitive edge and create an even stronger, more sustainable high performance system that will continue to deliver success and make the nation proud."

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