UK & World News

  • 18 December 2012, 16:42

Olympics: Boxing Wins Funding Boost For Rio

UK Sport has announced a record pot of 347m to be invested into elite sport in the run-up to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games with boxing given the biggest boost.

Boxing is to receive a 44% increase in funding following the success of the likes of Nicola Adams, Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell at the London Olympics.

Rowing, cycling, athletics and gymnastics have also been given budget increases for the next four years.

But after its disappointing performance at London 2012, swimming has had its budget slashed to 21.4m, down from 25.1m.

Team GB's swimmers won just three medals, with two going to Rebecca Adlington. Their target was five to seven.

Volleyball is also having its funding cut (down to 400,000 from 3.5m), while basketball, handball, wrestling and table tennis will miss out on the cash altogether after all missing their performance targets in London.

The huge increase in the boxing budget is the biggest for any sport. Some 13.8m will be invested, though 9.55m is conditional on the sport sorting out some internal issues.

Cycling is up to 30.6m from 26.3m, athletics has a 1.7m increase to 26.8m, rowing up from 27.3m to 32.6m, and gymnastics up from 10.8m to 14.5m.

Investment in Paralympic sport also rises dramatically, up 43% on London 2012.

Altogether, UK Sport has announced a record 11% increase in funding for Olympic and Paralympic sports until 2016. No nation has ever put more money into sport after hosting a Games.

UK Sport has set a target for Rio 2016 of at least 66 Olympic medals and 121 Paralympic medals - one more each than the 65 and 120 won in this year's Games.

The funding body's chief executive Liz Nicholl said: "We want to be the first nation in recent history to be more successful in the Olympics and Paralympics post-hosting."

UK Sport's chairman Sue Campbell admitted some sports would be devastated by the news.

She added however: "It isn't about being popular, it's about making tough decisions about where public money goes."

Ms Nicholl added that swimming had been braced for bad news.

She said: "It won't be a surprise because we and they were disappointed that they didn't perform in London. They will get there."

She called on those sports disappointed by their decisions "to improve their base, their competition structure, and drive up competition before they can really compete for medals at a world level".

"We have been guided by our no-compromise approach," she added.

British Basketball described the decision to cut its funding totally ahead of Rio as "devastating" and a "waste" of previous investment.

British Cycling's chief executive Ian Drake welcomed his sport's budget rise, calling it "recognition of the success of our riders, our coaches and the work we put into identifying new talent".

British Gymnastics, celebrating a 34% boost in funding after London, likewise said it was "delighted" by the increase - helped by Team GB's landmark men's team bronze, Louis Smith and Max Whitlock's pommel horse silver and bronze, and Beth Tweddle's asymmetric bars bronze at this year's Games. They had been set a target of just one to two medals.

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