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Funding boost for fledgling Olympians

POTENTIAL: Johnson-Thompson

UK ATHLETICS (UKA) has today (October 15) revealed the names of the athletes that will receive maximum funding in the build up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.

Numerous Olympic and Paralympic competitors have been elevated to the 2013 World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) following their exploits at London 2012 in the summer.

The WCPP selections, across both Olympic and Paralympic programmes, categorise the athletes into two levels of support; Podium and Podium Potential with both groups delivering against UK Sport funding requirements and strict performance targets.

Athletes like Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Lawrence Okoye and Andrew Osagie – who all impressed at London 2012 – will now receive top funding as UKA have recognised that they have the potential to medal at World Championship and Olympic level.

However, a significant number of athletes have exited the programme as they are not deemed to be medal contenders in 2016 or because they have not met agreed performance targets for the previous year such as sprinters Marlon Devonish, Mark Lewis-Francis and 800m runner Michael Rimmer.

“Being part of the World Class Performance Plan is a privilege and not a right and athletes selected will be expected to fulfill tough performance criteria,” said UKA performance director Neil Black.

“We have identified a very talented group of athletes for support over the coming year and I am confident that we can build on the success of the last Olympic and Paralympic cycle starting with the European Indoors in Gothenburg in March.”

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