Seven sports fail in funding cut appeals

Archery, goalball, fencing, table tennis, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby also failed in their attempts to overturn those decisions on Monday (20 February), although powerlifting were successful.

A total investment of £345 million ($434 million/€411 million) will be made to 31 Olympic and Paralympic sports for the next Games - £2 million ($2.5 million/€2.3 million) less than a record £347 million ($436 million/€413 million) allocated in the run-up to Rio.

But today (Monday), UK Sport upheld their decision to withdraw badminton's funding, despite securing a bronze medal in Rio past year, courtesy of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in the men's doubles.

Former badminton player and British Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms said she was "gutted" by UK Sport's decision.

The governing body had appealed against the decision not to award any elite funding to the table tennis performance programme, despite the sport featuring in the group identified as capable of winning a medal in Tokyo and the progress made on the global stage, including last year's World Team Championships bronze medals and best-ever Olympics results.

"I appreciate that for the majority of national governing bodies that attended the representation meetings today's outcome is extremely disappointing".

"We are staggered by this decision", said a GB Badminton statement.

"We have players who are on track to win medals for the nation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and our belief in those players remains as great as it's ever been".

She said: "Our investment approach prioritises investment in those world class programmes with the greatest chance of delivering medal success".

On Wednesday, British Fencing will be launching a crowdfunding campaign to #FundFencing.

"This has been an incredibly hard period for the athletes and programme staff", CEO Georgina Usher said.

"We overachieved on everything we were asked to do in the 2016 cycle, and did so without funding". Having to explain to them why the programme funding will be coming to an end is extremely tough.

Badminton is the biggest loser, having received £5.7m in the Rio 2016 funding cycle - it is also the only sport on the list in which Team GB secured a medal last summer.

Wheelchair rugby expressed their dismay at losing £3m and UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl called on the super-rich RFU to help make up the shortfall. "We don't take these decisions lightly as we are acutely aware of the impact they have on sports, athletes and support personnel".

  • Julie Sanders