London: Despite winning the men’s singles gold – Rajiv Ouseph, and mixed doubles gold – Chris and Gabby Adcock in the recently concluded European Championships – England’s most successful Europeans in 29 years, the England badminton team’s road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic could be rocky due to lack of funding.
England badminton received £5.5m in the build-up to Rio 2016, where Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge won bronze in men’s doubles. However, England badminton saw it’s funding of about £5.7m completely wiped out by UK Sport alongside archery, goalball, fencing, powerlifting, table tennis, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby early 2017. All seven sports appealed to UK Sport but only powerlifting was successful.
UK Sport said it would make no apologies for investing only in sports it believes have a realistic medal opportunity at Tokyo 2020 – no matter how brutal it appeared.
After UK Sport’s refusal to reinstate the funding to England badminton, Britain’s top badminton players started a crowdfunding campaign to help fund their bid to Tokyo 2020 Olympic.
England’s top mixed doubles player Gabby Adcock told British media that the funding cut incident will absolutely not stopping her quest to push on for world and Olympic medals alongside her husband – even if UK Sport’s decision left a bitter taste in the mouth.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet time in that obviously we are all quite disappointed with the funding result,” Adcock told British media.
“But we have all come together even stronger as a team and through a difficult time we have shown that we are still able to push on. We still have those dreams and goals that we want to achieve.”
“Even though the funding decision is what it is, it doesn’t take away what we all want to achieve and the Great Britain team doing such an amazing thing at the Europeans, it’s just a bit frustrating to be like ‘come on UK Sport, surely you can see that we’ve got potential’. We are competing with the best in the world.”
“When we first found out about the funding cuts we were shocked – to say the least – especially with the boys in Rio winning bronze; we thought that showed we have got a young team with a lot of potential.”
“Being an athlete is a rollercoaster and UK Sport is just another bump in the road so we won’t let it distract from our goals and the big things that we want to achieve.”
“Everyone is fighting and we will find a way to succeed.”
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