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Page last updated at 06:00 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 07:00 UK

GB chiefs target misfiring sports

Lord Moynihan
Moynihan has hinted that Team GB will aim for third place in 2012

British Olympic chiefs want sports which underperformed in Beijing to pull their weight and help Team GB achieve their goals at the 2012 London Games.

Expectations have soared after Britain came fourth in the Beijing medal table.

"A number of sports that didn't do so well will have learned lessons," British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"And with consistent financing over the next four years, we'll see them lift to medal success as well [in 2012]."

Great Britain's 47-medal haul in Beijing - their best Olympic performance for 100 years - saw a significant number delivered via cycling, sailing, rowing and, to a lesser extent, swimming and boxing.

Yet despite the euphoria which accompanied Team GB's return on Monday, some sports such as athletics fell short of their pre-Games targets.

We need to look at those sports that didn't deliver in the way we expected them to

Team GB's chef de mission Simon Clegg

Only 400m star Christine Ohurougu delivered a gold as the athletics squad ended up with four medals, short of the expected five, while Britain also failed to pick up a single medal in the relay events.

"It has been frustrating - we almost hit the target, but you don't get medals for coming close," said UK Athletics performance director Dave Collins.

Simon Clegg, Team GB's chef de mission, said officials would now take time to reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of Britain's performances in Beijing.

"We need to sit down and analyse properly the results," he said.

"We need to look beneath the medal table at the number of finalists we've got.

BOA chef de mission Simon "We also need to look at those sports that didn't deliver in the way we expected them to."

Meanwhile, Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said UK Sport would be taking a "brutal" approach to allocating funding for 2012.

She told the BBC: "You know we've had the fantastic success in rowing, sailing and and swimming and cycling, and what will happen now is that UK Sport, which is the body which is charged by Government to oversee the development of elite sport, which has done a fantastic job in helping to get the organisation right, will look at the performance against investment across all the Olympic sports."

She added: "... It sounds brutal but it is, you invest where you're going to get the world class performance."

Other areas British Olympic chiefs may identify as underperforming include archery, tennis, equestrian and martial arts.

While Lord Moynihan expressed confidence that Team GB can be just as strong in London, he did stress that government funding - widely heralded as a key element underpinning the Beijing success - must continue to be forthcoming.

"We need a promise that the money will come," he said.

"Once we've got that, it gives us a platform, it doesn't provide the medals.

"We've then got to have the athletes and the support structure to move forward, but we need to have a strong funding base."

Having achieved fourth place in the medal table, which the BOA had set its sights on for 2012, questions are now being asked about fresh targets.

Though he refused to make any specific predictions, Lord Moynihan insisted that being on home soil could prove to be a further boost.

"When you're host nation, as we saw with the Chinese in Beijing, there is an inspirational factor that comes into play," he said.

"If you can inject that into the preparation and the results which we saw here, I think it will be a platform to build from."


At-a-glance medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 China 51 21 28 100
2 USA 36 38 36 110
3 Russia 23 21 28 72
4 Great Britain 19 13 15 47
5 Germany 16 10 15 41
6 Australia 14 15 17 46
7 South Korea 13 10 8 31
8 Japan 9 6 10 25
9 Italy 8 10 10 28
10 France 7 16 17 40

see also
Photos as Olympic heroes return
25 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Team GB's roll of honour
23 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Warm welcome for Olympic heroes
25 Aug 08 |  UK News
Britain may aim for third in 2012
25 Aug 08 |  London 2012
Ferguson wanted for GB 2012 role
25 Aug 08 |  Football
Organisers hail 'glorious' Games
25 Aug 08 |  Olympics
London takes over as Olympic host
24 Aug 08 |  London 2012
Pub named in medallist's honour
24 Aug 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Brown pays tribute to GB success
24 Aug 08 |  Olympics

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