Olympics 2016 - UK Sport slashes funding for basketball, synchronised swimming

Olympic funding for basketball, synchronised swimming, water polo and weightlifting has been withdrawn following UK Sport's latest review.

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Olympics 2016 - UK Sport slashes funding for basketball, synchronised swimming
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Simon Timson will become UK Sport's performance director in January 2013

The Misson 2016 review removed funding promised 12 months ago, which equated to £4.54m for water polo and £4.34m for synchronised swimming, while neither men's nor women's basketball will get any funding ahead of the next Olympics. Weightlifting has also lost its support, while a new request for beach volleyball funding was rejected.

UK Sport's review decided to target funding only on those sports where Olympic and Paralympic medals are realistic targets.

Simon Timson, director of performance at UK Sport, said: "We have undertaken a thorough, evidence-based review of all the funded sports to arrive at these tough yet important decisions. By its very nature elite sport is intensely competitive and the cost of success in the Rio environment means it is vital that every pound we invest has a real benefit in terms of medal performance."

British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes suggested that a formal appeal against the decision could take place, and said: “We are deeply disappointed and shocked at the decision to remove funding from the sports of women’s water polo and synchronised swimming.

“While British Swimming welcomes UK Sport’s on-going support for diving and para-swimming, as well as recognising the massive turn around in the direction of the swimming programme, it is an extremely dark day for women’s sport in this country as today’s announcement could well signal the death of these historic Olympic sports in Britain.

“The decision flies in the face of the massive legacy impact afforded by the investment previously and successfully made in these sports within the London cycle and beyond."

British Basketball's Performance Chairman Roger Moreland said: "There is a gap in the system and that system needs to change otherwise there is no hope to realise legitimate aspiration for those sports that are not already at the table.

"The system is not like a tap. To work effectively, it cannot be turned on and off and still produce players and coaches to succeed in future Olympic Games or World Championships."

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