Libby Clegg: Sprinter loses UK Athletics funding for 2015-16

Libby Clegg and guide Mikail Huggins
Libby Clegg withdrew from the T12 200m semi-finals in Doha after injuring her foot in the warm-up

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Libby Clegg has lost her funding from UK Athletics after pulling out of the recent IPC World Championships.

The 25-year-old visually-impaired sprinter was not selected for the 2015-16 world class performance programme.

Anguilla-born sprinter Zharnel Hughes, who had his GB eligibility confirmed in June, was granted full funding.

Scottish steeplechaser Eilish McColgan said it is "no wonder athletes cheat" after her own funding was cut.

Clegg pulled out of the IPC World Championships in Doha last month after injuring her foot during a warm-up, having also been forced out of last year's European Championships through illness.

Fellow Scot McColgan, 24, has endured a similarly tough year, missing the entire 2015 season after breaking her ankle in January.

Who made the cut?

Selection for UK Athletics' world class performance programme (WCPP) is based on an athlete's potential to win Olympic or Paralympic medals and funded by the National Lottery through UK Sport.

The WCPP is split into two levels for both Olympic and Paralympic athletes:

  • Podium - athletes seen as medal hopes at Rio 2016
  • Podium potential - athletes building towards Tokyo 2020

Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith has been rewarded for her breakthrough 2015 season by receiving full funding for the first time.

The 19-year-old finished fifth in the 200m at the World Championships in Beijing in August, one month after she also became the first British woman to run under 11 seconds in the 100m.

Former 400m hurdles world champion Dai Greene, who failed to qualify for Beijing, is one of 21 athletes chosen for the Olympic podium programme.

He is joined by London 2012 gold medallists Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford.

Hughes, 20, was born in the British overseas territory of Anguilla but opted to compete for Great Britain with his home country not recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

The highly-rated sprinter receives full funding at the first attempt, having won the Lausanne Diamond league 200m race in July.

Paralympic gold medallists Richard Whitehead and Jonnie Peacock are on a list of 25 Paralympic athletes receiving podium funding, with world championship medallists Georgie Hermitage, Kadeena Cox, Dan Bramall, Toby Gold and Abbie Hunnisett also included for the first time.

Tweet from Zharnel Hughes
Hughes was given a boost as he prepares to challenge the world's best at Rio 2016

Who missed out?

Alongside Clegg and McColgan, middle-distance runner Hannah England and 110m hurdler Lawrence Clarke lost their Olympic level funding.

Perri Shakes-Drayton, a former European indoor 400m gold medallist, and European 100m champion James Dasaolu also saw their support cut back from the Olympic level to the relay programmes.

Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir is not included after opting out of the funding system last year.

Former 3,000m steeplechase British champion McColgan revealed UK Athletics' decision on social media prior to the official announcement, adding "My current financial status..." above an image of chocolate coins.

Scottish 800m runner Lynsey Sharp was also critical of the governing body despite making the podium programme, saying she had received "no email" to confirm her selection.

Tweet from Eilish McColgan
Eilish McColgan joked about losing her funding during preparations for Rio 2016
Tweet from Eilish McColgan
The Scottish athlete was also critical of losing her funding after being set back by injury this year
Tweet from Lynsey Sharp
Lynsey Sharp summed up her frustration at the nervous wait for news

Athletes supported by 2015-16 world class performance programme

Podium

Olympic (21)

Dina Asher-Smith, Holly Bradshaw, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mohamed Farah, Adam Gemili, Robbie Grabarz, Dai Greene, Sophie Hitchon, Zharnel Hughes, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Laura Muir, Christine Ohuruogu, Andrew Osagie, Tiffany Porter, Andy Pozzi, Shara Proctor, Greg Rutherford, William Sharman, Lynsey Sharp, Lorraine Ugen, Laura Weightman

Paralympic (25)

Hollie Arnold, Paul Blake, Daniel Bramall, Jonathan Broom-Edwards, Mickey Bushell, Joanna Butterfield, Hannah Cockroft, Kadeena Cox, Aled Davies, Kyron Duke, Toby Gold, Dan Greaves, Sophie Hahn, Georgina Hermitage, Abbie Hunnisett, Sophie Kamlish, Maria Lyle, Dean Miller, Stephen Miller, Stephen Osborne, Melissa Nicholls, Jonnie Peacock, Stefanie Reid, Richard Whitehead, Bethany Woodward

Podium potential

Olympic (29)

Kate Avery, Chris Baker, Meghan Beesley, Tom Bosworth, Dan Bramble, Lucy Bryan, Ashley Bryant, Mark Dry, Tom Farrell, Niall Flannery, Emelia Gorecka, Charlie Grice, Adam Hague, Lucy Hatton, Jessica Judd, Chris Kandu, Morgan Lake, Kyle Langford, Nick Miller, Chris O'Hare, David Omoregie, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, Isobel Pooley, Shona Richards, Jazmin Sawyers, Allan Smith, David Smith, Serita Solomon, Jake Wightman

Paralympic (27)

Kare Adenegan, Joshua Bain, Samantha Bowen, Shaun Burrows, Richard Chiassaro, Sabrina Fortune, Kylie Grimes, Claire Harvey, David Henson, Jordan Howe, Moatez Jomni, Jade Jones, Rhys Jones, Samantha Kinghorn, Simon Lawson, Polly Maton, Erin McBride, Holly Neill, Georgina Oliver, Derek Rae, Ben Rowlings, Sam Ruddock, Zachary Shaw, Will Smith, Laura Sugar, Isaac Towers, Bradley Wigley

Relay squads

Olympic

Men's 4x100m (7)

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, James Dasaolu, Ojie Edoburun, James Ellington, Richard Kilty, Danny Talbot, Chijindu Ujah

Plus individually funded athletes:

Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes

Men's 4x400m (7)

Jarryd Dunn, Jack Green, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Martyn Rooney, Conrad Williams, Delano Williams, Rabah Yousif

Women's 4x100m (8)

Louise Bloor, Desiree Henry, Shannon Hylton, Daryll Neita, Ashleigh Nelson, Asha Philip, Bianca Williams, Jodie Williams

Plus individually funded athletes:

Dina Asher-Smith

Women's 4x400m (8)

Margaret Adeoye, Seren Bundy-Davies, Eilidh Child, Kelly Massey, Kirsten McAslan, Laviai Nielsen, Anyika Onuora, Perri Shakes-Drayton

Plus individually funded athletes:

Christine Ohuruogu

Paralympic (1)

Olivia Breen

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