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Page last updated at 08:00 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 09:00 UK

Team GB 'dark horses' for Beijing

Team GB's rowers leave for Beijing
Team GB's rowers are targeting four medals in Beijing

Great Britain have been tipped to finish fourth in the medal table in Beijing by the US Olympic committee's head of sport performance Steve Roush.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has not set a medal target for 2008, although UK Sport expects Team GB to finish eighth in the table.

Roush told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I want to go out on a limb and say that my dark horse for fourth spot is Great Britain.

"Their goal for 2012 is top four, they're going to achieve that here."

Roush, a former assistant executive director of USA Swimming, said Team GB would benefit from the investment which has been made in Olympic sports ahead of London 2012.

"They are the ones truly on the rise, similar to China," added Roush.

"For the same reasons that China is coming and emerging after getting the 2008 Games, Great Britain are creating a great programme and putting enormous resources from the sport lottery into their programme."

However, BOA chief executive Simon Clegg has said it was more important for the British team to show real progress across all sports ahead of the Olympics on home soil in four years' time.

"I fully accept that Beijing will be judged as a stand-alone Games," said Clegg.

"But for us in the BOA there's a much greater goal here and that's making sure we deliver in London in 2012 when the entire nation will be looking and expecting of us."

UK Sport, a public-funded body, has targeted cycling, athletics, sailing and rowing as the main contributors to Britain's medal haul and expects 35 GB medals, including 10 to 12 golds.

Countdown: loading...

see also
Team GB for Beijing
21 Jul 08 |  Team GB
Olympic Dreams
29 Nov 07 |  London 2012
British team dismiss medal target
29 Jul 08 |  Olympics
First GB athletes arrive in China
28 Jul 08 |  Olympics
GB target 35 medals from Beijing
02 Jul 08 |  Olympics
BOA bullish on 2012 medal target
20 Feb 07 |  Olympics 2012

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