UK Sport to focus on 12-year medal potential

(Reuters) - UK Sport plans to change its funding model after next year’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics with the focus on medal potential over a 12-year period instead of four, the body’s Chief Operating Officer Simon Morton has said.

Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum, Morton said the new model for funding elite sports would apply for Paris 2024 and beyond.

“Previously, for those that know the system, we considered sports based on their medal potential within four years,” Morton was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“Subject to affordability, our new strategy will allow us to consider sports based on their medal potential within 12 years. That’s a big shift.

“So our strategy is still focused on creating medal-winning moments ... but it’s a more progressive approach that recognises that broader success requires us to reach far deeper into the pathway.”

Morton said that future funding decisions would reflect an enhanced integrity system, more athlete support and better provision for mental health.

“We’ll aim to support the development of the person as well as the performer,” he added.

“We’ll have an ambition that athletes leave the high performance system feeling richer for their experience, irrespective of whether they’ve succeeded on the field of play.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford