By Gary Anderson

Charles van Commenee has been appointed as the performance manager at the Dutch Olympic Committee ©Getty Images Former UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee has been appointed the new performance manager at The Netherlands National Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), it has been announced.

Van Commenee previously worked at the NOC*NSF as technical director from 2005 to 2008 and was the Chef de Mission to the team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where The Netherlands won seven gold, five silver and four bronze medals.

The 56-year-old's stint with the NOC*NSF came after he left his role as a technical director of multi-events with UK Athletics following Athens 2004 where he oversaw a bronze medal win for British heptathlete Kelly Sotherton.

Van Commenee had been originally employed by UK Athletics in 2001 after his work with the likes of Britain's Denise Lewis in particular, who he guided to an Olympic gold medal in the heptathlon at Sydney 2000.

Van Commenee left the Dutch set-up to return to Britain in 2009 after he was appointed as head coach of UK Athletics, replacing Dave Collins, whose contract was not renewed after Britain failed to achieve the target of five medals at the Beijing Olympics.

Van Commenee was Chef de Mission to The Netherlands team at Beijing 2008 that won seven gold medals including a win for cyclist Marianne Vos ©Getty Images Charles van Commenee was Chef de Mission to The Netherlands team at Beijing 2008 that won seven gold medals including a win for cyclist Marianne Vos ©Getty Images

The Dutchman set a target of his own at London 2012 where he aimed for eight British medals in athletics events.

Britain managed to win six medals at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford and, despite four of those being gold thanks to Mo Farah winning the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, Greg Rutherford the long jump and Jessica Ennis the heptathlon, van Commenee stood down from his role in December 2012 due to what he described as a "matter of creditability".

He then worked as a special adviser to The Netherlands' speed skating team at Sochi 2014 where the Dutch won 23 of the 36 medals available, including eight of the 12 gold. 

Commenting on his new position back in his homeland, van Commenee said: "I see this as a nice continuation of my career in the sport and hope to help different coaches and athletes with my experience.

"I like to go back to work in The Netherlands.

"From a distance I have seen in recent years, that Dutch sport both on the performance and in terms of professional support has made progress and [I want to] contribute to further progress."

Van Commenee shares a joke with Jessica Ennis-Hill who was one of four British athletes to win gold in track and field events at London 2012 under the stewardship of the Dutchman ©Getty Images Charles van Commenee shares a joke with Jessica Ennis-Hill, one of four British track and field athletes to win gold at London 2012 under Charles van Commenee ©Getty Images

At London 2012, The Netherlands finished 13th on the medals table with six gold, six silver and eight bronze medals.

The team was under the guidance of Chef de Mission and current technical director at the NOC*NSF, Maurits Hendriks who welcomed the appointment of van Commenee.

"With Charles, we have once again a professional with extensive knowledge and experience on board in various areas during the Olympic Games in The Netherlands and abroad," said Hendriks.

"The performances delivered by TeamNL are high.

"To improve this level we will have to invest at deeper levels.

"It is increasingly difficult to bring this level up further.

"This requires only the best, passionate professionals in the workplace.

"I look forward to working with van Commenee.

"There's been a lot of knowledge in our unions.

"From our high performance team, we supply almost tailor specific knowledge.

"So with Commenee we obtain knowledge and experience that we can use for many of our sports and athletes."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related Stories
September 2012: Mike Rowbottom: Van Commenee's departure leaves a large and Special gap
September 2012: 
Van Commenee quits as head coach of UK Athletics after team fails to hit medal target
August 2009: Top athletes support van Commenee appointment
ebruary 2009: Van Commenee officially takes up new role at UK Athletics with Chambers at top of agenda