The strict medal goals of British athletes at this year’s Summer Olympics are being considered.
Team GB finished second on the medal table five years ago, winning 67 medals, including 27 gold, and UK Sport was just as bullish on demand in 2020.
Initially set on a podium range of 51-92, then cultural secretary Matt Hancock claimed that British athletes were hoping to remain an “Olympic power.”
The British Olympic Association categorically refuses to set goals for teams that have used nearly £ 1 billion to reach second, third and fourth place on the medal table in the last three competitions. doing.
“We have no goals and I don’t think UK sports will be,” said team chef Mark England.
“It’s very clear that there really isn’t any competing data about where we compete with the major competitors around the world.
“There is a snatch of data from a limited competition, which only builds so many big picture.”
Powered by government and state lottery, UK Sport has traditionally provided strict performance goals for sports, and failure to do so often leads to barbaric reductions in the next game. Badminton was given £ 5.7m for a build-up to Rio and was initially given nothing to Tokyo.
But the uncertainties caused by the pandemic mean that UK Sport is now tolerant when it announces its Tokyo 2020 ambitions early next month. Bold ambitions are usually expected to diminish dramatically.
“The big debate is what we do around the target, because we’ve always been based on performance down to the game in the past,” said Dame Catherine Ranger of the UK Sports Chair. It was.
“We’re talking about sports and it, and sports themselves have goals in mind, but we’re still discussing how far to expose them. At this point, it’s an unhealthy pastime for many sports. There is a possibility of becoming.
“There are a lot of very mature conversations we have had during the pandemic. How far is sports? What are your realistic expectations?
“For some, we still can’t live up to those expectations because there was no international competition. I still have ambitions in the sport I’ve been in close contact with.
“I don’t feel like I don’t want to see my goals or weaken my expectations. I still have a lot of ambitions. Lack of information means I can’t set numbers at this time.”
Many of the UK’s proven performers are struggling with these games. Four-time gold medalist Moffaler hasn’t run qualifying time yet, but double triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee has admitted that his ambitions have ended after a disappointing exhibition at Leeds last weekend. ..
In addition, host country Japan is expected to be a regular on the podium, and China and Australia are also expected to improve Rio’s performance.
“What was very clear in the last 12 months was that the delay in the tournament gave young athletes the opportunity to become stronger, fight, raise their hands and show their willingness and attitude to be chosen,” England said. Added.TeamGB athlete exploits in Tokyo will be broadcast live Euro sports And Discovery +..
“You’ll see top competitive teams representing the UK. I’m looking forward to what they can do.”
Data firm Gracenote is pessimistic in predicting that British athletes are expecting 11 gold medals in Japan, for a total of 36 medals. This is just over half of the total earned in Brazil.
But they were far off the mark five years ago, and Covid-19 has already made the usual indicators of their forecasts an volatile business at uncertain times.
Live streaming of unmissable moments from Tokyo 2020 Discovery +
2021 Olympics: Team GB sets to abandon Tokyo medal goal
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