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Scottish Athletics chief Stephen Maguire is the frontrunner for the top job at UK Athletics

Stephen Maguire emerges as frontrunner to become new performance director at UK Athletics after talks with chairman Chris Clark

  • Stephen Maguire is understood to have met UKA’s Chris Clark on Monday 
  • The Scottish Athletics chief is the frontrunner for the top job at UK Athletics 
  • He is reluctant to leave Scotland and so could possibly share the role
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UK Athletics are ready to finalise their decision on a new performance director in the next week, with Stephen Maguire the frontrunner for the post.

Sportsmail understands Maguire met UKA chairman Chris Clark on Monday, though it is far from a foregone conclusion that he will leave his role as performance chief at Scottish Athletics.

While Maguire is believed to have some reluctance about leaving Scotland, where his family is based, and returning to UKA — he was very successful as the head of their sprint, hurdles and relay operations between 2014 and 2018 — he is the preferred option for several influential figures in the sport.

Scottish Athletics chief Stephen Maguire is the frontrunner for the top job at UK Athletics

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Scottish Athletics chief Stephen Maguire is the frontrunner for the top job at UK Athletics

One option under consideration is for Maguire to work in tandem with another candidate, with Steve Paulding being mooted.

Paulding is director of UKA’s National Performance Institute at Loughborough.

There is a sense of urgency at UKA to replace Neil Black, who left his post as performance director last month in the wake of Britain missing their medal target at the World Championships and the scrutiny that followed the doping ban for Alberto Salazar, Sir Mo Farah’s former coach.

With the Tokyo Olympics only eight months away, it is a less than ideal situation for the organisation, which was further rocked recently by the surprise resignation of Vikki McPherson, as revealed by Sportsmail last week.

McPherson was leading a detailed performance review of the elite set-up.