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UK Athletics

Elliot hails gutsy Hill

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Peter Elliott believes Richard Hill can still become a "shining star of the future" after a shaky international 800 metres debut at the SPAR European Cup.


Elliott, a former Commonwealth 1500m champion, dismissed suggestions that the inexperienced Hill lost valuable points in the team competition because of his brave front-running display.


It proved costly as Europe's fastest man of the summer with a time of one minute 45.11seconds, slid from pole position to seventh in the final 100m when overhauled by his more experience rivals. But Elliott said: "He had the guts to run from the front and he ran his own race. To run a low one minute 45 at 20 is fabulous - he can become a shining star and that is what we want."


The Yorkshireman is adamant it is early days and drawing comparisons with past world class two-lap runners should not be made.


Instead Hill's career should be allowed to progress sensibly, with his next major appearance likely to be at the European Championships in August.


Elliott, now coaching, added: "Don't start comparing him with Ovett and Coe - let's just think about him being the future.

"The cup saw him thrown in at the deep end. It was his first international and remember the competition rules make almost every race the same as a World Cup penalty shoot-out.


"What he has to do now is serve his apprenticeship and I am sure he will make the necessary progress to advance his career."

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