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Badminton among sports to lose Tokyo 2020 funding from UK Sport

 

Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis react after winning a bronze medal in the men’s badminton doubles at the Rio Olympics
Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis react after winning a bronze medal in the men’s badminton doubles at the Rio Olympics. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Badminton was the big loser after UK Sport announced its investment in Olympic and Paralympic sports for Tokyo 2020.

Badminton has had its funding cut despite Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge winning bronze to secure Britain’s first men’s doubles medal at Rio this year. Archery, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby will also not receive funding over the next Olympic cycle.

Badminton had its funding cut from £7.4m to £5.9m after London 2012, after no players managed the minimum fourth-to-eighth-placed finish that had been targeted. Yet despite the surprise success of Ellis and Langridge, the sport will not get a slice of the £345m of national lottery and government funding which UK Sport has announced will be invested over the next four years.

“With each of the sports affected we have a commitment to see their transition out of funding is supported,” said UK Sport’s chief executive, Liz Nicholl. “They have got medal potential they have progressed as sports, but we cannot reach to funding them for Tokyo. Conversations are going on with those sports.”

Cycling has had its funding cut by more than £4m, to just over £26m, despite winning 12 medals in Rio – six of them gold – to exceed its target of 10.

Rowing and modern pentathlon were the only sports not to meet expectations in Rio, and both have had their funding trimmed by around £500,000 and £300,000 respectively.

UK Sport confirmed its aggregate medal potential for Tokyo is between 51-85 Olympic and 115-162 Paralympic medals.

In Rio Team GB won 67 Olympic medals, and ParalympicsGB took home 147.

UK Sport chairman Rod Carr said: “These are critical funding decisions for sports to take them on their journey to Tokyo 2020 and beyond so the historic success at Rio can be maintained.

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“We have received incredible support from the government, who have confirmed their commitment to funding our ambitions through to Tokyo 2020, providing the financial assurances needed for the continued evolution of our high-performance system to ensure the athletes and sports with strong medal potential have what they need to inspire the nation.”

A decision has been deferred on UK Sport’s investment in wheelchair tennis while it explores the Lawn Tennis Association and Tennis Foundation’s ability to access sufficient non-grant income to fund themselves.

|The Guardian

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