Badminton sees entire Olympic funding axed

Yorkshireman Marcus Ellis, right, won Olympic bronze in the mens doubles at Rio 2016 alongside Chris Langridge
Yorkshireman Marcus Ellis, right, won Olympic bronze in the mens doubles at Rio 2016 alongside Chris Langridge
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Great Britain badminton chiefs are set to appeal against the decision to cut the sport’s funding for the Tokyo Olympics.

UK Sport yesterday announced a £345m National Lottery and government-funded investment in Olympic and Paralympic sports for the next four years.

But badminton, handed £5.9m for Rio 2016, will not get a penny of the latest cash despite Yorkshireman Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge’s bronze medal in the men’s doubles this year. Former Olympic badminton silver medallist Gail Emms, who is on the GB Badminton board, said: “My initial reaction is, ‘hang on a sec, we’ve won an Olympic medal’ – you’d think that if you go out there and win an Olympic medal it guarantees some funding.

“I think badminton deserves some explanation and I’m sure they will appeal against the decision.

“If I was one of those guys who went out there and came back with a medal, I’d be fuming.”

British Fencing described its funding cut as “unexpected” after its performance in Rio, where Richard Kruse came within two points of claiming the country’s first Olympic medal for 52 years in the men’s foil.

British Weightlifting said in a statement it was “shocked and devastated”.

UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl said: “With each of the sports affected we have a commitment to see their transition out of funding is supported.

“They have got medal potential they have progressed as sports, but we cannot reach to funding them for Tokyo. Conversations are going on with those sports.”

Cycling has had its funding cut by more than £4m, to just over £26m, despite winning 12 medals in Rio – six of them gold – to exceed its target of 10.

Rowing and modern pentathlon were the only sports not to meet expectations in Rio, and both have had their funding trimmed by around £500,000 and £300,000 respectively.

UK Sport confirmed its aggregate medal potential for Tokyo is between 51-85 Olympic and 115-162 Paralympic medals. In Rio Team GB won 67 medals, and ParalympicsGB took home 147.

A decision has been deferred on UK Sport’s investment in wheelchair tennis.