The seven sports that had all of their funding cut for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games in Tokyo, have today seen their appeals rejected by UK Sport. Archery, badminton, fencing, table tennis and weightlifting, as well as Paralympic sports, such as wheelchair rugby and goalball, will not receive any financial backing for the games in three years’ time.
The initial decision last month was greeted with criticism by former Great Britain badminton star Gail Emms. Emms, who won a silver medal at the 2004 games in Athens said “It is heart-wrenching. It was bad enough in December when the initial decision was made but now we are super devastated.”
“The players out there were really pinning their hopes on this. I was such an optimist; I thought it was going to be OK. We put forward a strong case. It is going to be tough now for the sport.”
Badminton was the sport that lost out the most financially, as for the 2016 games in Rio, they were given £5.7million which has now been reduced to nothing. This decision was particularly baffling as GB badminton exceeded expectations when Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellison achieved a bronze medal in the men’s doubles.
At the time, Badminton England, chief executive Adrian Christy said “Our understanding is that UK Sport doubt our Olympic medal credentials, however we have players who have not only won Olympic medals but also won World Tour titles and Super-Series titles, and these are the biggest events in our sport and we are regularly beating the best in the world.”
Table tennis were another sport who are excelling but have seen their funding withdrawn. A bronze at the 2016 World Team Championships has left Table Tennis England chief executive Sara Sutcliffe disappointed.
She said “We overachieved on everything we were asked to do in the 2016 cycle, and did so without funding. We were left without funding because, effectively, the goalposts were moved. We will take time to absorb this decision before we decide on the best course of action.”
Overall UK Sport have reduced their funding for the 2020 games by £5million and the last resort for these sports who have lost out by taking the case to the independent arbitration at Sport Resolutions.
Champions Olympic Speakers has an abundance of current and former athletes suitable for any event who can focus their talks on the issues associated with funding cuts and the implications that follow. If you would like to book an Olympic speaker for your function, call us on +44 1509 85 29 27 or fill out our online booking form.