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11 Olympic sports see increase in elite funding

By Tom Walker    05 Feb 2014
Triathlon is among the sports to have its funding increased

High performance sports agency UK Sport has revealed details of its Annual Investment Review, with 11 Olympic sports and seven paralympic sports seeing an increase in the amount of funding they receive.

In total, 19 Olympic and 17 Paralympic sports will receive £350m of funding annually in the run up to Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

Among the winners are taekwondo, triathlon, hockey, judo and sailing - all of which secured sizeable increases in their elite funding.

Rowing (£32.6m), cycling (£30.6m) and athletics (£26.8m) - the three most heavily funded sports - have had their funding kept at the same level.

Four Olympic sports, however - basketball, synchronised swimming, water polo and weightlifting - have seen their funding being withdrawn entirely due to there being no prospect of them achieving medals at future Games.

Three paralympic sports suffered the same fate, with funding having been cut from five-a-side football, goalball and wheelchair fencing.

Two sports, swimming and badminton, saw small increases in their funding.

UK Sport called this year's review the "most rigorous ever", with decisions based on the "no compromise" Mission 2016 process, developed by UK Sport in consultation with performance directors and senior staff members at national governing bodies.

The organisation has set itself an ambitious target of becoming the first nation in history to be more successful in both the Olympics and Paralympics post hosting, in terms of medals won.

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: "This is a very significant point on our journey to Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020.

"The high level goal of winning more Olympic and Paralympic medals at the next Summer Games is very challenging. We know that if we continue to focus our energy and resources we can deliver our commitment to Government, build on that success in London, and make this nation proud again.

The sports that have missed out on funding have until March to lodge an appeal - with swimming understood to be among those to do so.

British Swimming's chief executive David Sparkes said he was "shocked" at the decision to cut funding on water-based sports.

Sparkes said: "We are deeply disappointed and shocked at the decision to remove funding from the sports of Women's Water Polo and Synchronised Swimming. The decision flies in the face of the massive legacy impact afforded by the investment previously and may well consider a more formal appeal over these devastating decisions."

Commenting on the funding cuts, Liz Nicholl said: "I recognise it is a difficult time for the sports and athletes who have been withdrawn from funding. To continue funding sports where the evidence is telling us they cannot win a medal by 2020 would be a high risk strategy that compromises opportunities elsewhere."

Minister for sport, Helen Grant added: "I know today's decisions from UK Sport will be hard to take for some sports but funding is still available through Sport England for talent development and to grow their sport. UK Sport's door will not be shut permanently to any sport but public investment has to be focussed on delivering results."

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