Basketball, synchronised swimming, taekwondo, boxing, archery and hockey are the big winners in UK Sport’s Olympic 2012 funding programme. All six have received sizeable increases in their budgets ahead of London, with basketball getting a huge 136% increase, up from £3.7m to £8.7m. Rowing is now Britain’s best funded Olympic sport, getting £27.5m of the £304m pot available. The big losers include shooting, table tennis, handball and fencing.
UK Sport insists the level of funding builds on the £265m that was provided ahead of the Beijing Games and enables Britain to target a top-four finish in the medals table in London. But its £550m budget is £50m below the £600m that had been pledged and has meant that some sports, like handball, have lost out. “We are gutted,” Paul Goodwin, general manager of British Handball, “I don’t know how we are going to afford our coaches.”