• Progress of all sports since London bid was won means British Olympic and Paralympic sport now in best position ever to succeed
• UK Sport Mission 2012 update shows sports on track for top four finish at the 2012 Olympics and second in the 2012 Paralympics
• Mission 2012 update shows fewer red submissions than ever before.
Olympic and Paralympic sport in the UK has never been in a better position to succeed two years out from a Summer Games. That is the message coming from the latest UK Sport Mission 2012 updates, released today.
UK Sport’s latest analysis of Britain’s summer Olympic and Paralympic sports show a High Performance system in the UK that is not only producing outstanding results on the sporting field in 2010, but that is also working effectively behind the scenes to ensure that athletes are provided with the best possible opportunity to succeed on home soil in two years time.
The record level of funding invested in British sports and athletes over the past ten years has produced increasingly positive results in the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Games and the indications are that this success will continue going into London 2012. Of the 27 Olympic sports assessed, nine were rated green overall, indicating strong all round performance and confidence in success going forward, whilst none were rated red.
The picture was much the same in the 18 Paralympic sports assessed, with six receiving an overall rating of green and once again, no one sport receiving an overall red assessment.
The funding comes from the both National Lottery and Government exchequer as well as recently from the private sector scheme Team 2012, presented by Visa.
UK Sport Chief Executive, John Steele, said: “We are continuing to see British elite level sport rise to the challenge that comes with a home Games. With just over two years to go until the start of the London Olympics, our Mission 2012 tracker board shows that as a result of targeted investment and the hard work of athletes, coaches and support staff, we are on track to achieve our targets.”
“Successful British athletes in London will not only inspire a generation of young sportsmen and women in this country, but will also be a key indicator as to whether we have hosted a successful Games. The progress we are making makes me confident that we will deliver when it matters in two years time.”
Some sports have already competed in their UK Sport target event for 2010, with results supporting the feedback given through Mission 2012, whilst other sports, such as athletics and swimming, have key events coming in the next couple of months.
‘Traditional’ Olympic sports such as cycling and boxing have continued to show that they are capable of performing at the highest level with cycling winning 8 medals at the Track World Championships and boxing winning 5 medals in their target event, The European Championships. There has also been a recent spate of ‘firsts’ in Olympic sports over the past couple of months with the Women’s Hockey team winning their first ever medal in the Champions Trophy and Modern Pentathlon winning their first ever men’s individual medal at the European Championships.
“In 2010 we have already seen the likes of boxing, which had red elements leading into Beijing, have their best result in a European Championships for almost 50 years” said Steele, “and sports such as triathlon, canoeing and gymnastics having current World or European champions within their squads. Mission 2012 suggests that these high level results will continue throughout 2010 and I am optimistic that, with two years to go, British sport could not be in a better position to succeed.”
Commenting on the latest Mission 2012 findings, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson, said: “Following our success in the medal table in Beijing, it is encouraging that British athletes continue to perform strongly. As the host nation in 2012, we have an unrivalled opportunity to transform sport in this country and every time our sportsmen and women step up onto the podium they can inspire people to get more active. I am encouraged by sports’ progress and am confident that our athletes will be at the top of their game in 2012.”