5th August 2015
BRITISH SPORT ‘UNITED AND FOCUSSED’ BEHIND HISTORIC RIO ASPIRATION WITH ONE YEAR TO GO
As sports enter the final year of preparation for the next Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, has said the system remains focussed on its aspirational goal of becoming the first recent host nation to win both more Olympic and Paralympic medals at the next Games.
History shows that other host nations have suffered a dip in performance following their home Games, as the benefits of home advantage and their country’s focussed effort on elite sport have ebbed away.
However, with £347m from the UK Government and The National Lottery invested in summer Olympic and Paralympic sports and athletes for the Rio 2016 cycle, UK Sport and the British high performance system has set out to buck this trend. While this aspirational goal presents a huge challenge, it has united and focussed everyone involved in elite sport in the UK behind the ambition and ensured British athletes with their coaches have continued to break new ground since London 2012.
British Olympic sports are aiming for between 39 and 71 medals at their targeted events in 2015, and so far Diving, Fencing, Hockey and Taekwondo have met their performance targets for the year. The next few weeks and months will see Swimming, Athletics and Rowing contest their 2015 World Championships, giving a good indication of how some of Britain’s multi medal potential sports’ preparations for Rio 2016 are progressing. British athletes have so far qualified 117* Olympic quota places for Rio, including both men’s and women’s Hockey teams, four Shooting spots and 10 Sailing classes.
Britain’s Paralympic sports are targeting between 110 and 156 medals in 2015, with Boccia, VI Judo, Disability Shooting and Wheelchair Tennis already having met their target. The IPC Athletics World Championships takes place in Doha in October, and the British team is targeting between 26 and 30 medals. To date, Britain’s Paralympic hopefuls have secured 48* quota places for Rio, including four Para-Equestrian Dressage riders and 11 Swimmers.