Seven sports begin appeal process over UK Sport funding for Tokyo 2020 – BBC Sport


Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis of Great Britain won badminton bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Seven sports are attempting to challenge UK Sport’s decision not to fund their programmes for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.

Badminton is among five sports which were funded for Rio 2016 challenging the decision made in December.

They are joined by goalball – not funded in 2016 – and table tennis which bosses believe are 2020 medal hopefuls.

“We’ve got a really strong case,” Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy told BBC Sport.

All sports have until Tuesday, 17 January to attempt to challenge the decision.

The decision to cut all funding for badminton came as a surprise after Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis won bronze in Rio and helped GB better the target set by UK Sport.

Although proof of correct governance and ‘talent pathways’ for young athletes form part of the decision-making process, the most important element of any pitch for funding is to prove they have genuine medal prospects for the next Games.

“Our understanding is that UK Sport doubt our Olympic medal credentials,” Christy said.

“However, we have players who have not only won Olympic medals but also won world tour titles and super-series titles and these are the biggest events in our sport and we are regularly beating the best in the world.”

In addition to badminton, goalball, table tennis, archery, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby will all bid for a reprieve. While table tennis does not get Olympic funding, it does receive Paralympic funding.

As well as those seven, British Powerlifting officials believe they deserve more and will also meet UK Sport in the coming weeks – though they are not going through the official appeals process.

The sport received about £890,000 going into the 2016 Paralympic Games, at which it beat its minimum target of one medal by claiming two, and as such was awarded £1.3m for the Tokyo cycle.

The appeal process is essentially a second opportunity for officials to demonstrate why they deserve funding for the four-year cycle leading into the Tokyo Games.

UK Sport will reveal its findings by the end of February, with those still unhappy with any verdict able to make a formal appeal to the ‘Sport Resolutions’ board.

It has been claimed the decision not to support the British wheelchair rugby team represents a “discriminatory” attitude, although UK Sport believes the programme does not represent a credible medal prospect for Tokyo.

British wheelchair rugby says it will present “significant new facts” to UK Sport and has a “very strong case” for a funding reprieve.


Write a Reply or Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.