Goal set for Tokyo 2020 as investment figures are announced

Published 8 December 2016

2016 Getty Images

•             Up to £345m to be invested in journey to Tokyo 2020 and beyond

•             Investment in new Tokyo sports to be determined following further exploration of medal potential

•             Ambition for the best ever away Games in Tokyo, through delivering more medals and medallists to inspire the nation

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UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sport agency, today (Friday 9 December 2016) revealed its ambition for British athletes to deliver more medals and medallists at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire the nation, underpinned by a £345m investment of Government and National Lottery funds.

UK Sport’s strategic leadership and investment approach over the past 20 years, working in partnership with the British Olympic and Paralympic Associations, led to record-breaking performances by Britain’s National Lottery funded athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

Great Britain became the first host nation in history to better both its Olympic and Paralympic medal haul at the next Games, and finished in second place on both medal tables with 214 medals overall and 255 medallists. 214 medals represented Great Britain’s best ever overseas combined Olympic and Paralympic medal haul.

In preparation for the next Games, UK Sport began working with sports over a year ago on their individual strategies for success at Tokyo 2020 to ensure that the momentum continues from Rio to Tokyo, providing a significant competitive advantage.

The ongoing commitment from Government to supporting the nation’s ambitions for success on the Olympic and Paralympic stage has seen sustained levels of overall investment for the Tokyo cycle, at a challenging time for National Lottery good causes revenue.

Rod Carr, Chair of UK Sport, 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.

“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.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government and National Lottery players for their continued support.”

Sports Minister Tracy Crouch said: "Rio 2016 was incredible – our Olympic and Paralympic heroes' amazing performances made the country proud. The four year journey to Tokyo 2020 starts now and the Government and National Lottery is backing UK Sport to help maintain our place as a sporting superpower.

"UK Sport's approach to elite sport has proven successful in Beijing, London and Rio and the ambition to win more medals in Tokyo is a bold one that, if achieved, would mean a sensational summer of sport in 2020."

With this funding UK Sport has been able to invest in the Tokyo performance strategies of 16 Olympic and 15 Paralympic sports* and over 1100 athletes, with £336m allocated today. The total Tokyo investment will be up to £345m, allowing for in-cycle adjustments, transitioning sports and for UK Sport to continue to work with those newly confirmed Olympic and Paralympic sports with strong medal potential for Tokyo. This could include sports such as Climbing, Karate, and Para Taekwondo.

Regretfully, UK Sport has been unable to invest in five sports that were funded in the Rio cycle; Archery, Badminton, Fencing, Weightlifting and Wheelchair Rugby.

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “We have been working in partnership with sports for over a year to develop their Tokyo strategies and I would like to thank them all for their engagement, professionalism and ambition during this process.

“We would like to invest in every sport but the reality is that we have to prioritise within agreed resources to protect and enhance the medal potential within the system; if we underinvest across the board then the British teams will ultimately underperform at the Games and medal success will be put at risk. 

“We know what it takes to win and what it costs to win and believe these investments will deliver medal winning success to inspire the nation once again in Tokyo.

“We have not taken these decisions lightly and we know that this impacts on the hopes and dreams of athletes, coaches and support teams that miss out. We are committed to managing this with appropriate care and will be working with those affected by these decisions to help them in their transition.”

The aggregated medal potential of the sports UK Sport has today confirmed investment in for the Tokyo 2020 cycle is between 51-85 Olympic and 115-162 Paralympic medals. This has informed UK Sport’s ambition to deliver more medals and medallists, across the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to inspire the nation.

Chelsea Warr, Director of Performance at UK Sport, said: “Our high performance system and investment approach is revered the World over; we are now up there as one of the World’s most successful sporting nations.

“We’ve worked closely with our sports to understand their strategies for the next cycle, and I firmly believe we haven’t reached our peak. The cumulative target ranges we’ve agreed with the sports show us we can deliver more medals and medallists to inspire the nation.

“Underpinning this ambition are our expert people – coaches, practitioners and leaders – who remain motivated and excited by the prospect of continuing to make history through supporting our athletes to realise their potential.”

Niels de Vos, CEO of UK Athletics, said: “We are pleased that the UK Sport funding award for athletics recognises our achievements in improving our medal counts on both the Olympic and Paralympic programme since London 2012.

“2017 is a crucial year for athletics and next summer will see the year’s biggest sporting event in the world hosted in London as we host both the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships London 2017 in July and August – the first time ever that one city has hosted both championships in the same year.”

Charlie Bethel, Chief Executive of British Wheelchair Basketball, said: “The support of UK Sport and the National Lottery has enabled us to realise our potential and build on talent. We welcome today’s UK Sport funding announcement and acknowledge it as their continued belief and confidence in the medal potential of both the men and women’s wheelchair basketball teams.” 

Jane Allen, CEO of British Gymnastics said: “Given the resources available to meet the demands of extremely strong high performance systems within many National Governing Bodies that are currently delivering on the world stage, British Gymnastics believes our allocation is a very fair one that rewards our historic results in the last Olympic cycle culminating in our best ever Olympic Games.

“British Gymnastics is currently going through a very exciting period for the sport following a successful, ground-breaking World Championships staged in Glasgow in 2015, the appointment of Executive Director Martin Reddin to the FIG Executive at last month’s International Gymnastics Congress and the first ever World Cup of Gymnastics to be staged in London at the O2 Arena in April 2017. We were also buoyed with the increased participation figures released this week by Sport England.

“This funding is a recognition of the confidence and trust UK Sport have in British Gymnastics and in our ability to deliver results going forward to Tokyo 2020. We thank UK Sport, Government and the National Lottery for this investment.”

Terry Connell, President of the British Karate Federation, said: “UK Sport has informed us they will defer our Tokyo 2020 Olympic funding application till 2017. We have been invited to start talks in early 2017, where both parties will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with each other and their respective goals. As a new Olympic sport, this is very positive and extremely encouraging news for British Karate.”


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