Britain targeting fourth in Olympic medal tally
LONDON—Britain’s athletes have been told to target fourth place in the Olympic medal standings when the London Games get under way later this month, officials said Wednesday.
UK Sport, the body which distributes funding to Olympic sports, has urged Team GB athletes to aim for at least 48 medals from 12 sports as they seek to emulate or better their performance in Beijing four years ago.
Britain finished fourth in the medal standings in 2008, accumulating 47 medals from 11 sports including 19 golds.
UK Sport chair Sue Campbell said the investment granted to British athletes meant the “goal of top four in the Olympic medal table at our home Games remains on track.”
Meanwhile Olympics minister Hugh Robertson described Team GB as the “best prepared team in British history”.
“Expectations for medal success are high but I am sure our athletes will rise to the challenge,” Robertson said.
“London 2012 is the culmination of many years of training and hard work and I wish all our athletes the very best of luck.”
Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, admitted that bettering the Beijing tally would be difficult.
“Beijing 2008 was an outstanding Games for British athletes, and we knew at the time that bettering or even matching that achievement would not be easy, and should not be underestimated,” Nicholl told a press conference.
“Since Beijing the performance system has stepped up another gear, and we really believe that the nation will be inspired this summer by our athletes winning more medals in more sports.”
Nicholl said Britain were eyeing between 40 and 70 medals in total.
“The top of the range is what is possible but not probable, and that is the same for the bottom of the range,” she said.
“At least 48 medals sits very comfortably within that range.”