UK Sport cut badminton funding for Tokyo 2020

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Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge win men's doubles bronze medal at Rio Olympics. (photo: AP)

London: Although Britons Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge won bronze medal in the men’s doubles event in Rio Olympics this summer, Badminton became one of five sports to lose all UK Sport funding for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

UK sports have invested £5.74m in the last Olympic cycle in badminton, and Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge were able to live up to expectation by taking home the bronze in men’s doubles. Unfortunately, Badminton was the only sport that won an Olympic medal this summer to have its funding removed.Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge win men's doubles bronze medal at Rio Olympics. (photo: AP)

Other sports that have lost the funding are archery, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby.

Gail Emms who represented UK and won Olympic mixed doubles silver with Nathan Robertson at the 2004 Games in Athens was among former and current badminton players to lash out against that decision. She took to her social media page and said: “No warning, nothing!!! Disgraceful behaviour to many people who dedicate a lot of time / energy to badminton.”

When speaking to UK media, Scottish Badminton chief executive Anne Smillie was obviously devastated and told the media that her organization will do everything in its power to appeal against that decision.

“We’ve enjoyed the most successful Olympic Games since 2004 in Rio this past summer, and badminton has good track record of Olympic success,” said Smillie.

“I spoke to Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy, who obviously didn’t know anything about this prior to the announcement,” added Smillie.

Badminton England has officially filed an appeal on Monday against UK Sport’s decision to cut financial support for badminton ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the appeal is likely to be held in February.

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