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Athletics upbeat despite cash cut

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London 2012 - who's in the money?

UK Athletics boss Niels de Vos says he is happy with funding ahead of the 2012 Olympics despite a 1.4m cutback.

GB athletes won only four medals in Beijing, and UK Sport has trimmed its allocation from 26.5m to 25.1m.

It is the only sport which won medals in Beijing to have had funding cut, while 17 sports have had increases.

"We've already made changes to our programme, both in terms of tightening up the management of it and the numbers of athletes we fund," said De Vos.

"It's absolutely as expected - there's no surprises."

Niels de Vos believes UK athletes will perform well at the 2012 Olympics.
Athletics is never going to be a sport that delivers an avalanche of gold medals because no country does

Niels de Vos

That number of funded athletes was cut by 20% last month - a decision which followed the appointment of Charles van Commenee as national head coach of UK Athletics.

De Vos said: "The bottom line is I guess I'm grateful to UK Sport for supporting us because there were changes that needed to be made.

"I've been discussing those with them since pre-Beijing. I made the changes and they've backed me and given me the money I need to make it happen, so overall, I'm pleased.

"Athletics will be the showcase sport of 2012. The key thing is Britain's performance within that showcase and all the changes I've made have been geared towards 2012."

De Vos added that the appointment of Van Commenee would be key to reviving British athletics after the disappointment of Beijing.

"Charles is a 2012 appointment and he and I are working closely with UK Sport to make sure we get as many Brits into finals as possible and from that as many medals as possible.

"We're pushing on all fronts and I'm very determined that we have a good show in London, both in terms of the number of finalists and the number of medals.

"Athletics is never going to be a sport that delivers an avalanche of gold medals because no country does. Even the mighty America only delivered six in Beijing."

De Vos believes Britain can aim for six medals at next summer's World Championships in Berlin but refused to set a target for London.

"I think we will surprise people between now and London, but I'm going to keep my powder dry and not hang myself by giving an aspirational figure now."

see also
Sports handed London 2012 budgets
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Olympic funding reaction
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics
2012 funding sport-by-sport
03 Dec 08 |  Olympics
Funding boost for GB Paralympians
03 Dec 08 |  Disability Sport
GB athletes hit by funding cuts
05 Nov 08 |  Athletics
Van Commenee named UKA head coach
23 Sep 08 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
28 Oct 08 |  Athletics

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