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London 2012: Team GB target 4th place finish

With the one-year-to- go marker looming up, UK Sport say that they are still firmly on target to achieve fourth place in the Olympics medal table, and second place in the Paralympics table, at London 2012.

”The evidence is that we are in a better place than we were at this point leading into Beijing, which is very encouraging,” said Liz Nicholl, the UK Sport chief executive.

And Nicholl maintained that the immediate future beyond London 2012 was secure in terms of funding.

”We are very confident about life after London, we are very confident about the resources that will be available to us both from the Exchequer and the Lottery,” she said.

”Overall we’ll probably see over the four year period just about a 10 per cent reduction from the total Exchequer and Lottery funding, but we are very confident that we can move on from London to Sochi [2014], and towards Rio [2016], with the aim of sustaining the system that we have worked so hard to develop.”

Mission 2012 involves grading every Olympic and Paralympic sport in terms of up to 30 elements, and UK Sport now believe the overall picture for London 2012 is one of burgeoning health.

”Of the 28 Olympic sports assessed, 11 were given an overall rating of green, indicating strong all round performance, whilst none had an overall rating of red,” their statement read.

”The picture was much the same in the 18 Paralympic sports assessed, with eight having an overall rating of green…and none an overall rating of red.”

Nicholl confirmed that, even if sales of Lottery tickets flagged after the Games, the funding from 2011 to 2015 would not alter.

She added that the success of the British teams in the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics had created what Camelot, the Lottery organisers, called a “Beijing Bounce” of elevated sales.

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sports and Olympics, commented: “With a year to go until London 2012 preparations for the Games are in great shape. I’m confident that the UK Sport’s ‘no compromise’ approach will give Team GB and ParalympicsGB the best possible chance to give the country many medals next summer.

”This will be the best resourced and best prepared British team in history and I am hopeful our athletes can win more medals across more sports than they did in Beijing.”

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