Olympics: Basketball loses UK Sport funding for Rio games
Basketball is one of seven sports that have had their funding withdrawn by UK Sport ahead of Rio 2016.
By Amy Lewis
Last Updated: 04/02/14 5:36pm
The other Olympic and Paralympic sports include synchronised swimming, water polo, weightlifting, five a side football, goalball and wheelchair fencing.
Two sports have had their funding reduced, including badminton and swimming which has seen it's funding reduced by £500k. A further 34 elite sports had their funding either increased or unchanged.
The announcement was made by UK Sport which is funded by the National Lottery and the Government as part of their annual funding review process. In December 2012 it announced that it would be increasing it's elite sport programme by 11% from £264 million for London 2012 to a record £347 million for Rio 2016. However, the agency says some sports have little chance of achieving a medal at the next Games which is why they're losing all their investment.
British Basketball is one of the sports that will lose its funding. Roger Moreland, Performance Chairman of British Basketball told Sky Sports News he would be appealing. He said: "British Basketball is desperately disappointed for the players, coaches, staff and basketball community in this country. One of the factors in restoring funding last year was on the basis of our medal potential for Tokyo 2020 and we still believe all the indicators for our senior and age group teams show the strength of the programme is building towards that aim".
British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes also stated he was disappointed by the news and confirmed they would consider appealing the decision in order to secure financial support. "We will now carefully look at our options and, in due course, may well consider a more formal appeal over these devastating decisions," he said in an official statement.
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive 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.
Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, said: "The ambition to win more medals in Rio than we did in London is huge and will not be easy to achieve. UK Sport's strategy has shown through the incredible results at the Beijing and London Games that it works. I am pleased that 36 sports have strong talent pathways in place that could result in medals for Britain in either Rio 2016 or Tokyo 2020".
UK Sports say it will re-invest the money withdrawn from some sports into other elite programmes.
They are yet to announce a medal target for Rio 2016, however, in December, the agency say they're confident in their aim to win more Olympic and Paralympic medals in Rio than they won in London, a feat achieved by no other Olympic host nation in modern history. Britain had its most successful Olympics last year, securing 65 medals across all sports, including 29 golds, and the Paralympic team won 120 medals. UK Sport says the target is to beat that in 2016.
However, recent host countries, including China, Australia and America have seen a 10% slump on average in the number of medals won in the games post-hosting.