UK Sport Sets Out Olympic Targets

Posted on: 09 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

UK Sport says it wants Britain to finish in eighth place in the medals table at the Beijing Olympics.

UK Sport has set the British Olympic squad a target of finishing at number eight in the medal table at the Beijing Games.

The organisation, which distributes Lottery funding to elite sport, wants British athletes to bring back around 35 medals, including 10 to 12 golds.

UK Sport expects British medallists in 17 different sports, with cycling (a target of six medals), athletics (five), sailing (four) and rowing (four) offering the brightest positive prospects.

That would mean the best medal performance by a British team at an unboycotted Games since 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium.

“There is every reason to be confident medal success will be achieved,” says UK Sport chief executive John Steele.

“Beijing has the potential to be a memorable Games for Team GB’s athletes.”

“The targets are ambitious and reaching them would be the best boycott-free medal performance by Britain for nearly a hundred years.  Crucially they will also show whether we are on track towards our ultimate goals for London 2012.”

The pressure's on, with the 2008 Olympics beginning on 8th August.

“With Beijing just weeks away and also London 2012 just over four years away, everyone knows we have got to get better. You don’t get better by under-shooting or lacking ambition, and sports aren’t doing that.”

“What is really good to see is that there is ambition and we all want to improve.”

UK Sport has already set Team GB a target of fourth place in the medal table at the London Games four years later.

Sports minister Gerry Sutcliffe says that the Government is investing a record amount of public money in our elite athletes, and hopes to see that transferred into medal success in Beijing this summer and then in London in 2012.

“We have made great progress in some sports, with the recent World Championship performances of our cycling and swimming teams encouraging, ahead of the Games.”

“But, of course, there is no room for complacency. Sports and athletes must continue to try and up their game as the margins between winning and losing are so fine.”

The Beijing 2008 Olympics will start with the opening ceremony, beginning at 08:08:08pm CST at the Beijing National Stadium.

Is this a realistic expectation for Team GB? Who do you think can win gold in Beijing? Is this how you think our tax money should be spent?  Is this just more Government spin? 

Let us know by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, you can share your thoughts in the 50connect forums.

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