British Athletics retains athletes on funding lists for 2021
National governing body is “exploring options” for a “Tokyo Support Package” aimed at competitors not on the World Class Programme
Just two changes have been made to British Athletics’ World Class Programme (WCP) for the year ahead, with all athletes from the 2019-20 lists retained as they target the postponed Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.
Long jumper Karim Chan and discus thrower Harrison Walsh have been added to receive ‘Podium Potential’ level support on the Paralympic WCP in 2020-21.
But there are no additional places for athletes on the WCP at Olympic level, even for athletes who have had breakthroughs during a condensed coronavirus-affected season.
“With limited spaces for additions to the programme, only two additional Paralympic athletes have been added to the 2020/2021 WCP,” said the national governing body.
“We will however be exploring options to put in place a Tokyo Support Package for those athletes who have demonstrated potential to make a final or increase the British team’s medal chances at next year’s Games.”
The WCP is UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded initiative “to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events”. In 2020, WCP membership is based upon an athlete’s “realistic potential” to win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024 Games.
There are three levels of membership of the WCP at Olympic level – Olympic Podium, which has 16 members in 2020-21; Olympic Podium Potential, which has 30 members; and Olympic Relays, which has 23.
At Paralympic level there are two levels of membership – Paralympic Podium, which has 28 members; and Paralympic Podium Potential, which has 18.
“The last few months have provided many challenges for everyone, so we are pleased to be able to retain all the athletes who were on the World Class Programme last year, for 2021,” said World Class Programme director Steve Paulding.
“Additionally, we are delighted to be looking at creating alternative ways to support several athletes via a Tokyo Support Package.
“These discussions are taking place following a year in sport which has been like no other we have experienced. We want to engage and support as many athletes as possible who have shown real potential for Tokyo during the disrupted season, but we have not been able to add to the Olympic WCP. So, we will aim to support a limited number of athletes in accessing the support which will help them achieve this.
“I’d like to thank the National Lottery and UK Sport for their continued investment in the World Class Programme. The support enables our athletes to be the best prepared in their quest for success at the world’s most significant sporting events.”
British Athletics World Class Programme 2020-21
Olympic Podium (16)
Olympic Podium Potential (29)
Charlie Da’Vall Grice
Olympic Relays (23)
Paralympic Podium (28)
Paralympic Podium Potential (18)
Guide runners (2)
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Source: Athletics – Athletics Weekly