Chef de Mission Mark England said the British Olympic Association will not set a medal target for Team GB at the Tokyo Games as the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out too many competitions to get an accurate picture of athlete competitiveness.
UK Sport, the body responsible for investing in Olympic and Paralympic sport, had set a target range of 54 to 92 medals in February 2018, before the health crisis virtually wiped out international competition.
“We haven’t put a medal target on it and we won’t,” England said.
“I don’t think UK Sport will either. The past 12 months has given an opportunity for young athletes to be stronger and put themselves in contention.
“But it has been very obvious that any competition data in terms of where we stand against our main competitors across the world really isn’t there.
“We only have snatches of times and qualification times.”
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Britain won 67 medals, including 27 golds, at the 2016 Rio Olympics, to finish second behind the United States on the table. They finished third at London in 2012 London with 65 medals, including 29 golds.
The Tokyo Games, delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled to begin on July 23.
Helen Glover continues remarkable return with Team GB selection
Two-time Olympic champion Helen Glover will partner Polly Swann in the women’s pair, as the British Olympic Association announces the 45 rowers who have been selected to compete for Team GB in Tokyo later this year.
Glover and Swann are two of the 24 women selected, with 21 men also chosen to compete at the Olympic Games. In total, there will be 37 Olympic debutants alongside eight returning Olympians.
The 34-year-old’s return to the sport comes after a four-year period away. Glover, who is now a mum of three with a two-year-old and one-year-old twins, is unbeaten in international racing since before 2012.
“This is the thing I was aiming for when I first came back,” the two-time Olympic champion said. “I genuinely thought it was an impossible mission this time last year, but I always had this day in my sights.
“I feel really proud that it’s here and that I’ve made the Olympic team.
“The thing I’m proudest of is how I’ve managed family life,” she added.
“I’m amazed that it’s happened like this and want to thank my husband Steve, my family and all at British Rowing for their support.”
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