UK Sport confident Great Britain can win ’50 to 70′ medals at Paris Olympics

Great Britain stand a strong chance of landing a record post-War Olympic haul in Paris, according to UK Sport’s director of performance, Dr Kate Baker.

The elite sports funding agency has set a target range of between 50 and 70 medals for the impending Games, despite Team GB being poised to name its smallest team since 2008.

Britain’s current best is 67 from the 2016 Rio Olympics, excluding the anomaly of the 146 medals won at the 1908 Games in London.

Baker said: “We feel really confident that we can get 50 to 70 and on a good day that 70 is really within our grasp.”

A final total of 327 athletes – made up of 174 women and 153 men – is set to be confirmed on Thursday, pending a final clarification of available quota places.

Despite a reduction of 49 on the size of team for Tokyo three years ago, UK Sport’s range is broadly in line with the expectations from previous Games.

And Baker expressed confidence that it would be enough to cement Team GB’s place in the top five of the final medal table for the fifth Games in succession.

“We want to continue our streak of top five Olympic medal table finishes, but that won’t be easy,” added Baker.

“We are likely to be the only nation, other than the USA or China, who will be bold enough to say that we can go to these Games and come home with a minimum of 50 medals.

“That is an extraordinary achievement. Whilst we have achieved more than that historically, and I feel somewhat confident that we can do so again, 50 is no mean feat and it is not a done deal.”

For the second straight Games, UK Sport has not publicly declared the number of medals required from each individual sport, as part of a desire to ease the burden of expectation on individual athletes and coaches.

Olympics Package
Max Whitlock is one of a number of defending Olympic champions in Paris (Mike Egerton/PA)

“It comes back to the amount of pressure that that places on individual athletes or individual sports,” said Baker.

“We have worked really closely with sports from the moment that we awarded funding at the beginning of the cycle, right the way up to recent weeks, to understand what they want to achieve in terms of medals and the way they go about their business.

“Whilst we have had lots of conversations about what success looks like for each of the individual sports, it doesn’t feel right to share those publicly.”