Eight sports begin appeal process over UK Sport funding for Tokyo 2020 – BBC Sport


Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis of Great Britain won badminton bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Eight sports will challenge UK Sport’s funding decisions for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Seven – including badminton – were due to receive no investment for the four-year cycle leading into the Tokyo Games.

Powerlifting is also challenging its award of £1.3m as it believes it deserves greater financial support.

All sports have until Tuesday, 17 January to notify UK Sport of their intent to challenge the decision.

In addition to badminton, goalball, table tennis, archery, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby complete the group of seven challenging the removal of their funding.

The decision to cut all funding for badminton came as a surprise after Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis won bronze in Rio and helped GB better the target set by UK Sport.

Although proof of correct governance and ‘talent pathways’ for young athletes form part of the decision-making process, the most important element of any pitch for funding is to prove they have genuine medal prospects for the next Games.

“We’ve got a really strong case,” Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy told BBC Sport.

“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.”

British Powerlifting officials also believe they deserve more and will meet UK Sport in the coming weeks.

The sport received about £890,000 going into the 2016 Paralympic Games, at which it beat its minimum target of one medal by claiming two, and as such was awarded £1.3m for the Tokyo cycle.

Meanwhile, it has been claimed the decision not to support the British wheelchair rugby team represents a “discriminatory” attitude, although UK Sport believes the programme does not represent a credible medal prospect for Tokyo.

British wheelchair rugby says it will present “significant new facts” to UK Sport and has a “very strong case” for a funding reprieve.

The appeal process is essentially a second opportunity for officials to demonstrate why they deserve funding for the four-year cycle leading into the Tokyo Games.

UK Sport will reveal its findings by the end of February, with those still unhappy with any verdict able to make a formal appeal to the ‘Sport Resolutions’ board.