After the British team enjoyed it’s most impressive medal haul in a century at its recent hometown Games, they’ll attempt to out-do themselves on foreign soil in Rio four years from now.
UK Sport will hope to exceed its London victories by dumping all its funding into the country’s most successful sports (rowing, cycling, biathloning) and focus the support in events with medal potential, whether they’re individual or team disciplines.
“Investment will be targeted where it has the greatest chance of succeeding using our ‘no compromise’ philosophy, which sets out to reinforce the best, support those developing and challenge the under-performing,” sports chief Liz Nicholl said in a statement.
Team GB finished third on London’s medal table, pulling in 65 medals – including 29 gold. That’s up from the 47 they won in Beijing and more than four times the medal haul from Atlanta sixteen years ago.
And while the boys and girls of British cycling were shouting “huzzah!” at Tuesday’s news, volleyball, which received only $2.7 million of the more than $500 million earmarked for funding for 2009-13, was crying foul.
“If we say we are not going to fund you unless you perform in a sport with a track history of medals then the legacy of our home Games is actually a reduction of opportunity not an increase,” Team GB volleyball president Richard Callicott told the Sunday Times.
“That’s not what I thought London 2012 was supposed to represent.”
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the American sprinters whose raised-fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics are an ageless sign of race-inspired protest, will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House next week for its meeting with President Barack Obama.
Smith and Carlos were sent home from the Olympics after raising their black-gloved fists in a symbolic protest during the U.S. national anthem. They called it a “human rights salute.”
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun asked them to serve as ambassadors as the federation tries to bring more diversity to its own ranks. They will join the team at the White House next Wednesday, then later that evening at an awards celebration in Washington.
The sprinters have been referenced frequently in the recent protests, spurred by Colin Kaepernick, during national anthems at NFL games. One player, Marcus Peters of the Chiefs, raised his own black-gloved fist before Kansas City’s season opener.
“I think Tommie and John have played an important and positive role in the evolution of our attitudes about diversity and inclusion, not only in the United States but around the world,” Blackmun said Friday night at a dinner to celebrate the U.S. performance in Brazil this summer.
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The men’s marathon world record has been broken five of the last nine years at the Berlin Marathon.
Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang, who broke the world record at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, believes that he can do it again on Sunday, when the race will stream live on the NBC Sports app beginning at 2:30 a.m. ET.
“I’ve trained well and, three years down the line from my world record here, I feel good and believe I have the potential to attempt the world record once more,” he said at today’s press conference, according to the IAAF. “Running at the top level, there is a lot of wear and tear on the body, especially when you are running for a time, but I am very focused on the world record.”
Kipsang clocked 2 hours, 3 minutes, 23 seconds when he broke the world record in 2013. A year later, fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto lowered it to 2:02:57 on the same course. Kimetto will not race in Berlin this year.
Kipsang will be challenged by Kenyan compatriot Emmanuel Mutai, who has the fastest time (2:03:13) in the field, and Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele.
Bekele is a three-time Olympic track champion and the 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder, but acknowledged that his marathon personal best of 2:05:04 places him a distant fourth in the field.
“I consider my personal best of 2:05 to be slow compared to the best runners,” he said. “I want to run as fast as I can on Sunday and beat my best.”
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