Anthony Joshua's coach Rob McCracken tipped to continue success for Team GB boxers despite squad overhaul
Rob McCracken has been training Team GB boxers at the squad's base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield for the best part of 20 years, helping the likes of Nicola Adams, Luke Campbell and Anthony Joshua fulfil their Olympic potential.
Under his watch Team GB won five medals at London 2012, three in Rio four years later which was viewed as a relative disappointment, but a return to form with six medals won in Tokyo last summer.
That haul was produced from a squad of 11 men and women, 10 of whom have either left or moved onto the professional ranks.
It means a new crop, including Bradford’s Harris Akbar who won the European Championship this summer, are training towards Paris 2024.
And Team GB’s chef de mission, Mark England OBE, has backed GB Boxing to deliver more boxing success at Paris 2024, despite acknowledging the “uniquely difficult” circumstances McCracken and his team face.
England made his comments in GB Boxing’s newly published Annual Review 2021-22, “Sustaining Success”.
He wrote: “For many of the sports we work with, it is very common to see the same athletes representing Team GB at multiple Olympic Games, so the fact that only two boxers from the Rio team were present in Tokyo is a vivid illustration of the uniquely difficult situation GB Boxing faces in delivering sustainable success.
“However, the boxing team returned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with six medals having produced Great Britain’s best performance for a century. It was a remarkable achievement and evidence of the strong foundations that exist at GB Boxing.
“At the heart of this (success) is GB Boxing’s unassuming performance director, Rob McCracken, and his team of outstanding coaches and practitioners. As GB Boxing undertakes another rebuild of its Olympic team following the departure of 10 of the 11 boxers that competed in Tokyo, I have every reason to believe it has the foundations in-place to continue its success and inspire the next generation of Team GB boxers and athletes.”
McCracken, inset, said: “The unique nature of boxing and the attractions on offer in the professional ranks mean we rarely enjoy the luxury of keeping our Olympic medallists for more than a single Games and are invariably faced with the challenge of building a new team at the end of each cycle.
“It has made for a very tough second half of the year as the coaches and I have looked to fast-track the boxers we had identified as candidates for Paris 2024 with a demanding schedule of competitions, designed to make-up for lost time, accelerate their development and give them exposure to a wide range of international styles. We have worked hard to identify and nurture the talent in our pathway and a number of very promising boxers from England, Scotland and Wales have been added to the squad.”