By Gary Anderson

February 27 - New funding programme from COB aims to increase Brazilian track and field success at Rio 2016 ©Getty ImagesThe Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) has announced a funding boost for its track and field athletes in an effort to increase the chances of medal success at Rio 2016. 

According to, COB is working in partnership with the Brazilian Athletics Confederation (CBAt) and the country's Ministry of Sport on a programme targeting greater representation in the finals of athletic events and delivering more Olympic medals.

The initiative will see BRL3.5 million (£901,000/$1.5 million//€1.1 million) invested this year on a programme containing 42 athletes who are considered to be potential medallists for Rio 2016.

The programme will encompass athletes who are training both in Brazil and abroad.

These include the likes of former pole vault world champion Fabiana Murer, world junior pole vault champion Thiago Braz da Silva and world indoor long jump champion Mauro Vinicius da Silva, all currently training and competing in Europe.

"We're not talking about something that will happen, but for a project that is already underway," said COB's general manager of sports performance Jorge Bichara.

At last year's International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Moscow, Brazil failed to register a single podium place with Murer's gold in Daegu in 2011 the only World Championship medal for the country since Jadel Gregório claimed triple jump silver in Osaka in 2007.

Despite this, Bichara insists the new funding is money well spent, claiming there were positive signs in Moscow.

"Rather, I think that some evidence showed potential positive developments as in the 400 metres, 4x400m men, men's decathlon and [pole vault]," he said.

"[It's] a matter of interpretation."

Fabiana Murer failed to defend her world pole vault title in Moscow last year ©Getty ImagesFabiana Murer failed to defend her world pole vault title in Moscow last year ©Getty Images

Brazil last medalled at an Olympics in track and field events when Maurren Higa Maggi claimed a gold medal in the women's long jump at Beijing 2008 following her return from a two-years doping suspension. 

According to high performance director at the CBAt, Antônio Carlos Gomes, the fruits of the extra investment and preparation work planned for 2014 will start to be seen next year but he remained cautious that Olympic medals will automatically follow.

"From August 2015 to 2016, the setting will change very little," he said.

"So anyone thinking of making a result, will have to train a lot until June 2015.

"We cannot guarantee that this investment will give medals, but the chance of [it] working [are] increased."

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