Team GB stars hit by lottery funding cuts

THIRTEEN British athletes, seemingly with the world at the feet at the London 2012 Olympics, have been stripped of their National Lottery funding due to doubts about their future medal chances.

Triple jumper Phillips Idowu, a silver medallist in 2008, heads a list of those who represented Team GB in Stratford last year, but will no longer be supported by the World Class Performance Programme for 2013-14.

British Athletics have approved funding for 22 athletes it believes are capable of winning a medal at the next Games in Rio in 2016, plus an additional 44 deemed to have podium potential with an eye on Tokyo 2020.

The relay teams, plus 48 Paralympic athletes will also be supported.

Performance director Neil Black said: “Our immediate focus is firmly on medals in 2016. From there attention shifts to Tokyo 2020. Our WCPP selections absolutely reflect that focus.

“The support from the National Lottery, via UK Sport, enables our athletes to work with the best coaches and support staff and prepare at the best facilities and training camps to ensure they perform to the highest achievable standards.”

Meanwhile Andy Turner, who won world championship bronze in the sprint hurdles two years ago, is also among those omitted by British Athletics.

But the 33-year-old had words of encouragement for those disappointed by the latest selections, having bounced back following a funding cut after failing to reach the Olympic final in Beijing in 2008.

He tweeted: “Remember athletes, just because you don’t get funding when you think you should, just prove them wrong. I did.”

UNLUCKY 13

London 2012 athletes lose funding
Yamile Aldama, Julia Bleasdale, Abdul Buhari, Lisa Dobriskey, Phillips Idowu, Steve Lewis, Christian Malcolm, Lee McConnell, Lawrence Okoye, Jo Pavey, Goldie Sayers, Alex Smith, Andy Turner