GB on target to beat medal haul from Beijing Olympics at London 2012

Cavendish sprints to World title

Great Britain's Olympic athletes are on target to surpass their medal haul from Beijing and finish fourth in the medal table at London 2012, says UK Sport.

Team GB won 47 medals in China four years ago, 19 of them gold.

UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl told BBC 5 live the indications were that total would be surpassed in 2012.

"We will be top four in the medal table at the Olympics and second at the Paralympics, and we'll win more medals across more sports," said Nicholl.

"I can be confident because of where we are and what the current performances indicate. There are no guarantees in performance sport but that's our aspiration, that's our goal."

GB athletes have won 44 world medals in Olympic disciplines this year, with the sailors yet to compete, compared to 42 in 2007.

"All the signs are very, very positive indeed," Nicholl added.

"In 2011 we've had a more successful year than the year prior to Beijing. We've won 44 world championship medals in Olympic disciplines, 73 in Paralympic disciplines, and that's better than the position we were in going into Beijing.

"So we're very optimistic for a top-four Olympics finish and second in the Paralympics medal table. That's the high-level target together with more medals across more sports."

Team GB finished fourth in the medal table in Beijing behind China, USA and Russia, representing the best haul since London first hosted the Games in 1908.

Athletes from Britain have continued to shine in the sports they excelled at in Beijing.

British cyclists, who provided eight gold, four silver and two bronze medals in Beijing, won eight medals, one gold, in Olympic events at the 2011 world track championships in the Netherlands and three more, including Mark Cavendish's gold at the road race worlds in Denmark.

The rowers, who earned six medals - including two golds - at the 2008 Games, won medals in 10 Olympic boats with three gold, three silver and four bronze at their world championships in Slovenia in September.

Rebecca Adlington, who won Olympic 800m freestyle gold in Beijing, claimed the world title over that distance in July as Britain's swimmers, who contributed six medals to the tally three years ago, picked up three golds and three silvers in Shanghai.

In athletics, the four medals, including one gold, that were picked up in China were turned into seven medals at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Mo Farah leading the way by winning the 5,000m and finishing second in the 10,000m.

The figures, announced at UK Sport's World Class Performance Conference in London, also revealed that 73 world championship medals have been won by Britain's Paralympic athletes.

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