alt NIELS DE VOS (pictured), the new chief executive of UK Athletics, has today admitted that the sport is Britain is already targetting the 2012 Olympics and is not anticipating much success this year.


“The improvements (performance director) Dave Collins has put in place at the elite end of British athletics are beginning to bear fruit, we must now keep our foot to the floor and ensure potential and promise translates into success on the world stage," said de Vos, who has been in the job less than a month.


“This Norwich Union GB & NI team is a young team and the curve of progress is aimed squarely at London 2012.


"We make no apology for that.


"However, this summer’s World Championships in Osaka will be a crucial proving ground and we must measure progress in hard currency of medals and finalists, as well as in improved individual performances.


"Our target therefore is to achieve a minimum of 14 finalists with three medals.


"This will reflect a doubling of the number of finalists at the last Worlds in Helsinki in 2005.


“Outside of our World Championship team, we expect to see our Juniors, who secured five medals at their World Championships last summer, make the transition through to seniors, and for the generation for whom 2012 will be their first major global challenge to deliver breakthrough performances at the World Youth Championships in Ostrava.


“Athletics has missed a generation of talent since the retirement of (Steve) Backley, (Colin) Jackson, (Jonathan) Edwards etc. and we are having to play catch up for Osaka and Beijing.


"We have set ourselves demanding but realistic objectives whilst recognising we still have much to do before elite athletics is where we want it to be on a world stage."