5 sports lose funding for Tokyo 2020

12 Dec 2016

By: Sport Industry Group

Badminton is one of five sports to lose all its UK Sport funding for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with a total of £345m to be invested in 31 Olympic and Paralympic sports.

The total - £2m less than the record £347m allocated for the Rio Games – also see archery, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby miss out completely.

UK Sport has set Team GB a target of winning 51-85 Olympic medals, and 115-162 Paralympic medals in Tokyo. Team GB claimed 67 Olympic medals and 147 Paralympics medals at Rio 2016.

Cycling, which secured 12 medals for Team GB in Rio, also had its funding cut by more than £4m to £25.98m.

Badminton, which was set a target of winning a medal in Rio, is the only sport that earned a podium place in the summer to have its funding removed.

Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy said he was staggered by the decision to remove the sport's funding: "How can you return from the best Games for more than a decade, in a year where our players have demonstrated world-class performances and where we can demonstrate the journey to Tokyo is on track, only be to have every penny of investment withdrawn?"

Ashley Metcalfe, CEO, British Weight Lifting said in a statement: “We are shocked and devastated that UK Sport has not awarded any funding for our lifters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic cycle. We are incredibly proud of our athletes’ achievements in Rio, where we qualified both male and female lifters – despite only our female squad receiving UK Sport funding for the Rio Olympic cycle.

“We recognise that funding challenges exist throughout sport, but believe that UK Sport’s approach of removing all funding for tier four sports will increase the disparity between the larger professional sports and the minority, largely amateur sports, which will be difficult to bridge in the future.”

Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said the decision to cut funding was not taken lightly.

"We would like to invest in every sport but the reality is we have to prioritise to protect and enhance the medal potential," she said.

"If we under-invest across the board then the British teams will ultimately underperform at the Games and medal success will be put at risk."

UK Sport also stated that investment in the five Olympic sports and two Paralympic sports added for Tokyo 2020 is yet to be confirmed.

Baseball/softball will return to the programme, with karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing also added, while Para-taekwondo and Para-badminton join the Paralympic programme.

UK Sport says funding will be determined "following further exploration of medal potential", with £9m of the £345m total still to be allocated.