Bri­tons call for re­form

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

LON­DON. - The na­tional gov­ern­ing bod­ies of 11 Olympic and Par­a­lympic sports is­sued a joint state­ment yes­ter­day call­ing for Bri­tain to aban­don a “two-class sys­tem” of fund­ing fix­ated on medal suc­cess.

The sports, which in­clude archery, bad­minton, fenc­ing and weightlift­ing, have been left with­out Na­tional Lottery and gov­ern­ment fund­ing ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“We’ve been thrown un­der a bus,” Adrian Christy, the Bad­minton Eng­land chief ex­ec­u­tive whose sport came home from last year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics with a bronze medal, told the BBC.

The “Ev­ery Sport Mat­ters” joint man­i­festo said the ex­ist­ing ap­proach had reaped plenty of medals but dis­en­fran­chised elite ath­letes with a sys­tem that “runs counter to Olympic ideals”.

“Cur­rently, ath­letes in sports de­prived of Lottery fund­ing will find it al­most impossible to qual­ify for the Tokyo Olympics and Par­a­lympics,” it added.

“Even ath­letes with recog­nised medal po­ten­tial cre­ated by Lottery fund­ing have now been com­pletely aban­doned by the sys­tem.”

UK Sport’s fo­cus on medal po­ten­tial has pro­duced record re­turns, with Bri­tain sec­ond in the Rio Olympic stand­ings with 27 gold medals and 67 in to­tal. In 1996, Bri­tain was 36th in the medals ta­ble with just one gold among 15 medals. - Reuters.

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