Olympic sport funding: Winners and losers, sport by sport

Louis Smith and Max Whitlock

There were some clear winners and losers in for Olympic sports in the lead-up to Rio 2016.

UK Sport, which determines how public funds raised via the National Lottery and taxation are allocated to elite-level sport, said the distribution of money was based on whether sports met their medal target in London.

Rowing, cycling and boxing were among those rewarded for a successful London 2012, while handball, basketball, table tennis and wrestling had their funding removed entirely.

Here BBC Sport assesses the allocation and its implications, sport by sport.


No British archer managed to advance past the last 16 at London 2012 and as a consequence elite funding from UK Sport has been cut from £4.4m to £3.1m.

On the plus side, Sport England - which allocates grassroots funding - is investing £2m in the sport to help develop facilities and set up new clubs.

"It's only the second time archery has received major development funding," said David Reader, Archery GB's national development manager.

"This will enable us to further develop archery participation throughout the country, and continue the development work we've been busy doing over the past three years."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Teenager Becky Martin recently defeated Olympian Naomi Folkard in the final to win the senior National Indoor women's recurve title.


Athletics had its funding increased from £25.1m to £26.8m after managing to achieve its target of five to eight medals at London.

Golden performances from Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah helped UK Athletics achieve a total of six medals, four of them gold.

"We're very pleased to receive the increased levels of support across both Olympic and Paralympic performance programmes," said UK Athletics performance director Neil Black.

"The investment in athletics reflects the progress made over the last four years and demonstrates confidence in our plans for the next Games cycle.

"We look forward to further medal successes starting at next year's World Championships where we will aim to build on the strong performances achieved in recent events."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, 19, finished 15th at London 2012 with some tipping her to follow Ennis to the top.


Badminton had its funding cut from £7.4m to £5.9m with no players in singles or doubles managing the minimum fourth- to eighth-place finish targeted.

Nevertheless, Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy said: "I think the outcomes for Badminton England and the GB programme have been very good.

"We are satisfied with the investment, which is somewhere where we anticipated it to be. It gives us the opportunity to build on what we have been building and to continue to achieve what we set out to achieve."

Earlier in the week, Sport England announced an £18m investment over the next four years to help develop the sport at grassroots level.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Wilmslow's Matthew Nottingham,external-link 20, recently won gold and silver at the European Junior Championships.


Basketball was one of four sports to lose all its funding from UK Sport.

Both the men and women were set a target of fifth to eighth place at London 2012, but they failed to qualify from their respective groups.

The funding withdrawal has provoked an angry response. "Having been funded to the tune of £8.5m in the lead-up to the London Olympics because of the sport's medal potential for the future, this is a devastating decision and is a waste of that investment," said British Basketball's performance chairman Roger Moreland.

"It doesn't seem much of a legacy from 2012 to dash the hopes and aspirations of a sport whose heartland is founded in Britain's inner-cities."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Men's player Alasdair Fraser top-scored for GB at the European Championships with a 19.7 point-per-game average, making him the tournament's third highest scorer.


A very successful Games for GB performance director Rob McCracken's men and women meant an increase in funding of more than £4m in the build-up to Rio.

His team of 10 boxers brought back a haul of five medals, which was the top end of the target set.

Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist Anthony Joshua told BBC Radio 5 live: "I was in the Olympic team for 17 months before the London Games, and the improvements I made - with the help of the funding - helped me to win my gold medal.

"I wouldn't have won gold without it."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Flyweight gold medallist Nicola Adams says she wants to repeat her London gold medal triumph in four years' time.


A tally of two golds, a silver and a bronze means GB's canoeists hit their target and have been rewarded with an increase in funding from £16.2m to £19.1m.

GB Canoeing will be thrilled with London 2012, winning an Olympic title in both of the sport's disciplines, sprint and slalom.

Performance director John Anderson said: "We are delighted that our excellent performance at London 2012 has been recognised by UK Sport. We exceeded our target, proving we are a sport that can deliver when it counts.

"This was a steady improvement from our strong performance in Beijing in 2008 when we won three medals including our first ever Olympic gold."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Canoe slalomer Kimberley Woods, 17, was nominated for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. She won gold at September's Junior European Championships in Slovenia in C1W and a silver in K1W.


Britain's cyclists were expected to provide a hatful of medals and they did not disappoint.

The team had a target of six to 10 medals and managed 12. Their reward? An increase in funding from £26m to £30.6m.

"Today's announcement from UK Sport is recognition of the success of our riders, our coaches and the work we put into identifying new talent," said British Cycling chief executive Ian Drake.

"We take seriously the responsibility to deliver good value which comes with lottery funding. We believe that winning medals is not an end in itself but a means to growing the sport as whole."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Double gold medallist Laura Trott, 20, is the new queen of the track following the retirement of Victoria Pendleton.


Whether or not Tom Daley ever realises his dream of Olympic gold, the fact diving has had its funding increased is entirely thanks to Daley's individual bronze at London 2012, which meant the sport hit its target of one to three medals.

It means British Diving sees an increase in its funding from £6.5m to £7.5m for the Rio cycle.

"With double-world junior champion Jack Laugher and Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley continuing to make their mark on the diving world, they are strong contenders for medals in Rio," read a statement on the British Swimming website.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Jack Laugher's London Games did not go according to plan as he failed to reach the semi-finals of the 3m springboard, but expect him to learn from the tough lessons of London.


The target for Britain's equestrian team was three to four medals, but Team GB won five - including three golds.

The sport has been rewarded with an increase in funding of £4.5m at elite level.

"The award places equestrian as a priority-one funded sport alongside the likes of cycling, rowing, sailing, gymnastics and athletics," said a statement on the British Equestrian website.

"This allocation enables the sport to continue to maximise its successes on the world, Olympic and Paralympic stages as well as helping to develop elite riders for future success."

Rio 2016 one to watch:Dani Evansexternal-link will be looking to bring home more medals for Team GB at Rio. The 20-year-old, based in Bristol and Bath, won eventing bronze with Raphael II at the European Young Rider Championships.


None of GB's individual fencers reached the last 16 in any of the five events entered at London 2012, although the men's team foil reached the last eight.

Despite the failing to meet all the targets, however, fencing has had its funding increased from £2.5m to £3.1m.

The sport also received a boost of £1.6m from Sport England over four years - an increase of 60% - to help the sport at grassroots level.

Rio 2016 one to watch: James Honeybone, 21, was Britain's only sabre fencer at London 2012. He fell at the first hurdle and is keen to improve on that in Rio.


Football is not set a target as part of this process because the team does not receive direct UK Sport funding.


Unsurprisingly, British Gymnastics has been richly rewarded for exceptional performances by the men and women in London - a 34% increase in funding from £10.8m to £14.5m.

Men's team bronze and medals for Louis Smith, Max Whitlock and Beth Tweddle made it the most successful Olympics for the gymnastics team.

British Gymnastics head of performance sport Tim Jones said: "This is fantastic news for our sport, and after the incredible success of the last four years, we are delighted to know that UK Sport has fully backed our plans for the future."

Rio 2016 one to watch:Max Whitlock,external-link 19, won team bronze and pommel-horse bronze and will be one of the favourites for individual gold in Rio.


Both the men's and women's handball teams failed to get anywhere near their targets with neither failing to win a group game.

UK Sport has been ruthless with its finances by cutting off handball's funding altogether. It is a decision that has been met with criticism.

"I think the whole tag and mantra of the Games was 'legacy', and handball has shown we're capable of producing a legacy. In England, participation in the sport has quadrupled since the Olympic Games.

"If you take away the elite end, what do these kids have to aspire towards?"

Rio 2016 one to watch:Holly Lam-Moores,external-link 21, signed for top Danish side Viborg this summer. If the British women qualify for Rio, she will be one of the key players.


Hockey received a small increase in elite funding - up £500,000 to £15.5m after the sport hit its target with a bronze for the women's team - their first Olympic medal for two decades.

England Hockey chief executive Sally Munday said: "We are delighted that England Hockey will receive over £27.5m in funding from Sport England and UK Sport collectively over the next four years.

"The £12m of funding from Sport England is to support our shared ambitions of increasing participation in grassroots hockey and identifying and developing the next generation of talented hockey players."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Andy Bull, 20, who has already made his senior debut, is set to take part in January's Youth Olympicsexternal-link - a stepping stone for future Olympians.


Judo met its London 2012 target but still saw its elite funding cut.

Gemma Gibbons and Karina Bryant both won medals - as British judo surpassed its target of 0-1 medals and three fourth to eighth places.

"UK Sport have increased the level of funding for our Visually Impaired programme and maintained a high-level of support for the Olympic programme - both of which will be vital in our ability to deliver medals," said British Judo acting chief executive Andrew Scoular.

"We'll be working hard over the next year to prove ourselves and will be striving to follow up our multi-medal winning Olympic and Paralympic performances with more success in Rio."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Gibbons, 25, has already said she is aiming to add gold to the silver she won, in emotional fashion, at London.

Modern pentathlon

Modern pentathlon had its funding increased from £6.3m to £6.9m after meeting its target thanks to Samantha Murray's silver in the final event of the London Olympics.

Pentathlon GB will also receive £900,000 grassroots funding from Sport England.

"We are pleased with both awards. They demonstrate the confidence that UK Sport and Sport England have in what we are doing and commit to do in the future," said Jon Austin, chief executive of Pentathlon GB.

"We have delivered medals at each of the last four Olympic Games and a string of impressive results at major championships since the Beijing Olympics."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Preston's Murrayexternal-link is only 23 but already has an Olympic silver and world championship team gold to her name.


Rowing smashed its target of six medals by winning nine on the waters of Eton Dorney.

As a result, British Rowing saw an increase in funding of 19.47% to £32.6m.

In addition, Sport England awarded rowing £8.2m to help with the development of the sport.

"Our efforts will not let up as we explore all opportunities to maximise the legacy of London 2012 and bring our wonderful sport to the widest audience," said British Rowing's chief executive officer Kate Burt.

Rio 2016 one to watch:Kat Copeland, 22, and Sophie Hosking, 26, won a surprise gold in the women's lightweight sculls. Copeland has confirmed she wants to compete in Rio.


British sailing hit its target of five medals - although only one was gold, courtesy of four-time champion Ben Ainslie.

The sport has had its elite funding increased from £22.9m to £24.5m.

"Sailing's Olympic award is broadly welcomed and will enable us to start implementing our plans for the Rio cycle, off the back of having successfully delivered another five medals at the Olympic Games this summer to remain one of Great Britain's most consistently high-performing Olympic sports," said performance director John Derbyshire.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Windsurfer Saskia Sills, 16, won gold at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships. The Launceston star will be hoping to shine when the event is reintroduced at the 2016 Olympics.


Who can forget the dramatic moments when Peter Wilson clinched Olympic gold in the double trap?

That triumph meant that his sport hit its target and has consequently been handed an increase in funding from £2.5m to £3m.

"The funding shows a clear recognition of the sport's plans for success at the Rio Olympic Games and will enable shooting to build on Peter Wilson's outstanding gold medal achievement at London 2012," said a statement on the British Shooting website.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Scot Jen McIntosh,external-link 21, got her first taste of Olympic competition in London - the double Commonwealth champion will be hoping to make a mark in Rio.


With only three medals won, Britain's swimmers disappointed in London.

They fell well below their target of five to seven medals and have been punished by UK Sport, which cut British Swimming's funding from £25.1m to £21.4m.

Performance director Michael Scott and head coach Dennis Pursley left in the wake of the disappointing home Games.

British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes said: "Overall we are satisfied with the outcome. While disappointed with the award for swimming, we recognise we need to rebuild confidence that we can deliver medals at Olympic level consistently before we can demand more investment."

Rio 2016 one to watch: Siobhan-Marie O'Connor was the youngest British swimmer to qualify for the London Olympics at the age of 16. The Bath swimmer recently won her first senior international medal at the European Short Course Championships in France.

Synchronised swimming

Britain's synchronised swimmers met their London targets and now have more money to play with in the build-up to Rio.

"The team has made significant gains in the past four years, moving their world ranking up from 12th in 2009 to 10th in 2011, and the duet of Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici have moved from 14th place at the Beijing Games in 2008 to ninth in London," said a statement on the British Swimming website.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Randall and Federici have been making gains since Beijing and will be looking to improve again in Rio.

Table tennis

British table tennis never expected to pick up a medal at London 2012 but neither would it have expected to see funding slashed from £1.2m to £0.

Table tennis coach Stephen Baggaley told the Daily Telegraph: "To stop funding a sport entirely is a statement, really. All sports should have been given something in the name of legacy."

Rio 2016 one to watch:Paul Drinkhall,external-link 22, stunned world number 52 Yang Zi from Singapore in London and the British number one will be looking to build on that at Rio.


British Taekwondo will be delighted with its funding increase - up from £4.8m to £6.9m.

A gold, courtesy of Jade Jones, and a bronze from Lutalo Muhammad meant that a target of one to three medals was met.

Rio 2016 one to watch: World number one Aaron Cook, 21, who was not included in Team GB's taekwondo squad has changed allegiance to the Isle of Man but is still hoping to fight for Team GB in 2016.


Tennis entered the UK Sport framework in the build-up to London 2012 as it sought access to advice and support from the funding body - but it was never part of the funding programme.

However, the Lawn Tennis Association saw £10.3m of its £17.4m funding from Sport England - provider of funds at grassroots level - frozen until it can improve on its plan to boost participation.

"Tennis has not performed well in terms of participation and is broadly flat though it got a bit of bounce in the latest figures," Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Laura Robson, 18, won silver in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray this summer. She also reached the fourth round at the US Open this year.


The Brownlee brothers' gold and bronze at London meant that funding increased modestly from £5.3m to £5.5m.

"The UK Sport award of £5.5m for Olympic preparation and delivery as well as £2.16m for the new paratriathlon programme will ensure Britain can build on the high level of performance set by the sport in London 2012 when British triathletes won two of the six medals on offer," said a statement on the British Triathlon website.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Welsh triathlete Non Stanford,external-link 23, is the current under-23 world champion.


British volleyball has had its funding slashed by UK Sport from £3.5m to £400,000 after only one of the two indoor teams won a match at London 2012.

President of the British Volleyball Federation Richard Callicott said: "We could not be more disappointed that the phenomenally hard work and commitment of our athletes and coaches has been rewarded with the utter obliteration of the sport at elite level.

"No matter how hard we try to produce enthusiasm and development at the grassroots level, every sport needs its stars to be visible. We have stars, and world class athletes like Dami Bakare now playing in one of the most competitive leagues in the world in Korea, but the opportunity for him and his outstanding team-mates no longer exists for them to play for their country."

Rio 2016 one to watch: If Great Britain qualify then 24-year-old Bakareexternal-link will be one of their leading lights.

Water polo

The British water polo teams did not win a game at London 2012 but the sport has seen its funding increased from £2.9m to £4.5m even so.

That money, however, is set aside for the women's team who are believed to have the better prospect of progress in four years' time.


Weightlifting failed to meet its London 2012 target but saw its funding increased from £1.4m to £1.8m.

"The award of core funding plus the addition of a number of athlete personal awards for the Rio cycle is a great boost and shows we are now on the right track," said Fiona Lothian, performance manager for British Weightlifting.

Rio 2016 one to watch: Zoe Smith, 18, who finished 12th at London, might be Britain's best hope for a medal in Rio.


Wrestling saw its £1.4m funding removed entirely, not entirely unexpectedly, after the only GB competitor at London, Ukraine-born Olga Butkevych, lost in her opening encounter.

However, Sport England has invested £850,000 in the sport over the next four years in order to support wrestling at local level and help develop talent.

British Wrestling chief Colin Nicholson said: "Wrestling will work with UK Sport to provide further acceptable evidence of our athletes' podium potential in preparation for the next available review point."

Rio 2016 one to watch:Butkevych,external-link 26, lost her only contest but did win bronze at the 2011 European championships.

Olympic funding for Rio 2016

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