Great Britain team plans on track for London 2012 Olympics

Becky Addlington and Sir Chris Hoy
Becky Addlington and Sir Chris Hoy won five of Team GB's 19 golds in 2008

The British Olympic team for the London 2012 Games will be the best-prepared ever said chief executive Andy Hunt.

Hunt revealed that the 550-strong team would receive £13m in funding and an "unprecedented" level of support.

He admitted however it would be "very, very tough" to replicate the fourth place acheived in the Beijing medal table in 2008.

"The difference between fourth, fifth and sixth place could be one or two medals," he said.

Great Britain secured 19 golds in Beijing, three more than fifth-placed Germany and five more than Australia in sixth.

Hunt is hoping that the expanded team, which has grown from 313 athletes in China, will provide a greater variety of success.

"I really do believe we will deliver more medals from more sports," he said.

Sixteen of the team's golds in 2008 came in four sports - cycling, swimming, rowing and sailing.

Hunt will be looking particularly towards boxing, canoeing, gymnastics, hockey and taekwondo which, along with rowing, received extra funding for the final two years of the Olympic cycle after strong performances in 2010.

The British Olympic Association are running a fundraising programme to reach their £13m target and Hunt, who will be Team GB's chef de mission in London, said he was confident of achieving the total.

Despite a rise of £5m in total funding from Beijing, the amount spent per athlete has fallen slightly to £23,636 from £25,559.

British Cycling performance director David Brailsford confirmed that Great Britain's road racers are likely to compete in the Tour de France in 2012, but insisted the Games would be their priority.

Manx sprinter Mark Cavendish is at rival team HTC Highroad, but riders such as Bradley Wiggins, Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas are part of Team Sky where Brailsford is team principal.

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