Oct 14 2013
A host of former World Championship medallists have lost their Lottery funding for the 2014 season, UK Athletics has announced.
Lisa Dobriskey and Jenny Meadows, who won 1500 metres silver and 800m bronze respectively at the 2009 World Championships, and Andy Turner, the 2011 world 110m hurdles bronze medallist, are among the leading names to have been dropped from the World Class Performance Programme under the strict new guidelines set down by UK Sport.
Yamile Aldama, the 41-year-old Cuba-born triple-jumper who won world indoor gold last year, has also left the programme, along with Phillips Idowu, whose removal was a foregone conclusion following his decision to take an indefinite break from athletics.
UK Sport, the body which distributes the funding, has narrowed its criteria, meaning only athletes considered realistic medal contenders for the Rio 2016 Olympics are eligible for 'podium' funding. Previously the emphasis had been on the likelihood of making a final. The result is a smaller crop of 22 athletes on top-level funding, plus 16 on relay funding.
The 44 younger athletes on the lower-level 'podium potential' support had to have proved their potential to win a medal in Tokyo in 2020.
In addition, there are 25 Paralympic athletes on podium funding, plus two on relay support, and 23 on podium potential.
Other senior Great Britain team members to lose their funding include Christian Malcolm (200m), Jo Pavey (5,000m and 10,000m) and Goldie Sayers (javelin).
Meadows, 32, was ruled out of her second successive season in 2013 after suffering a stress fracture to her femur, which followed the long-term Achilles injury which dashed her Olympic hopes.
Dobriskey, 29, and Turner, 32, both endured injury-plagued seasons.
The major winners from the announcement are the women's 4x100m relay squad, who are back on funding after their shock bronze medal at the World Championships in Moscow.
A year earlier they did not even manage to qualify a team for the London Olympics.
The quartet who claimed a dramatic medal in Russia, Dina Asher-Smith, Hayley Jones, Annabelle Lewis and Ashleigh Nelson, are all on the programme part of the relay squad, along with Anyika Onuora.
UKA performance director Neil Black said: "Our immediate focus is firmly on medals in 2016, followed by London 2017 when we will host both the IAAF and IPC World Athletics Championships. From there attention shifts to Tokyo 2020. Our WCPP selections absolutely reflect that focus.
"2013 was an excellent year for the British team across both the Olympic and Paralympic programmes. And once again I am confident 2014 will bring further success in what will be another extremely busy indoor and outdoor season.
"The support from the National Lottery via UK Sport enables our athletes to work with the best coaches and support staff and prepare at the best facilities and training camps to ensure they perform to the highest achievable standards."