Britain is pumping more money into its Olympics sport programs in a bid to win more medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 than the record number claimed by the home nation in London this year.
Britain will invest $448 million – an increase of 5 percent – to meet its target of winning 66 medals in Brazil, one more than London.
“We want to be the first nation in recent history to be more successful in both the Olympics and Paralympics, post-hosting,” said Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, the body that distributes government and National Lottery funds to Olympics sports.
Roared on by passionate home crowds, Britain finished third in gold medals in London with 29, behind the United States and China. Britain finished fourth in the overall medal count with 65, behind the U.S., China and Russia.
“We are investing more public money to support our elite athletes in the four years to Rio 2016 than for our home games, which shows out desire to keep up the momentum from London”
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson
Cycling produced Britain’s most medals in London with 12, followed by rowing with nine.
UK Sport has not yet produced a breakdown of medal projections by sport for Rio.
British swimming, which performed below expectations in London, had its Olympic funding slashed by nearly $6.48 million while four sports – basketball, handball, wrestling and table tennis – will receive no cash at all.
Rowing and cycling will receive at $48.65 million each in an attempt to maintain their supremacy. Boxing was the biggest winner, after being given $6.8 million more than the 2009-13 cycle.
“We are investing more public money to support our elite athletes in the four years to Rio 2016 than for our home games, which shows out desire to keep up the momentum from London,” Sports Minister Hugh Robertson said.
Sue Campbell, the chair of UK Sport, said the funding decisions were made using ‘compassion without sentimentality.’
“We have learned how to invest the money strategically – it isn’t about being popular,” she said.
“We will continue with our athletes-centered, no-compromise approach.”
Funding for Paralympic sports is up 43 percent to $113 million.