• London Olympics 2012

BOA promises even more medals in Rio

ESPN staff
August 13, 2012
Will fans see even more British gold medals in Brazil? © PA Photos

The British Olympic Association is adamant Team GB can claim even more medals at the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, following a remarkable performance on home turf.

London 2012 saw the best British medal haul since 1920, the result of extensive investment in a variety of sports for over a decade as athletes from disciplines as diverse as rowing, track cycling, equestrian and judo all delivered medals.

Some have feared that matching the final total of 65 medals (29 golds) will prove impossible in Brazil in four years' time, but BOA chief Lord Moynihan has pledged to do everything in his power to ensure this is not the high watermark for British Olympic achievement, but rather the latest step on a path of continued progress.

"The aspiration is always to push on and do better - absolutely," Lord Moynihan said. "If you're an athlete, if you're a team, your aspiration is always to do better. No question at all in my mind.

"You never say, 'Okay, we did very well. Now let's fall back'.

"We have phenomenal athletes in this country, unbelievable athletes, and we're building great support structures.

"And we must always push on and always raise the bar and always seek to do better."

On Sunday, the government announced that elite-level funding would be guaranteed for a further two years, taking it up to Rio and giving the relevant bodies scope to plan well into the future.

While a new medal target will not be set imminently, Moynihan stressed that all those sporting bodies will have their results assessed to work out areas for improvement in the next few months.

"Every sport should have a comprehensive review of their performance," he added. "Those who have done really well will need to review why they did really well.

"Those who haven't lived up to the expectations will need to review that.

"It won't be until we're very close to Rio that we have an assessment of who we're competing against, let alone how good our own team is."

Chef du mission Andy Hunt agreed that there is no reason why Team GB cannot score even more medals at the next Games.

"I believe it could be more than that," he said. "And that's such an important legacy from these Games.

"Our insight and engagement with sports is like never before and we're not going to stop that."

Some sports will have to adjust to a new reality, however. Swimming, for example, failed to deliver on its pre-Games predictions (winning just three medals, none of which were gold) - a performance that will likely result in a slash in funding levels.

Michael Scott, performance director of British Swimming, is aware a complete overhaul of how their system works will likely be demanded, with input taken from more successful sports like cycling.

"When we know the reality of the funding situation, my job is to determine those new priorities and deliver them," Scott said. "Most likely we will have to be leaner and meaner. That means things will change."

He added: "We are looking at people who can come in and openly and honestly challenge us.

"We have made approaches and not necessarily to people within the sport of swimming. You have to look at Team GB as a whole and say there is expertise in this country that could be used to sharpen our focus."

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