By Emily Goddard

Sailing is the biggest winner in the new funding allocation for Australian sports ©Getty ImagesThe Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has revealed the allocation of its 2014-2015 AUD$120 million (£67 million/$113 million/€83 million) investment with sailing, swimming and taekwondo among the disciplines to receive a boost ahead of the Rio 2016 Games.

The body, which focuses on the areas with the greatest potential to contribute medals as part of Australia's Winning Edge targets, gave sailing the biggest increase in financial support - AUD$1.25 million (£700,000/$1.1 million/€860,000) - following the sport's three gold medal haul at the London 2012 Olympics.

"Sailing has received an increase of AUD$1.25 million (£700,000/$1.1 million/€860,000) based on past performances including London and its potential to contribute to Australia's Olympic medal tally in Rio and beyond," AIS director Matt Favier said.

"This also represents a greater investment and support for sailing's emerging athletes for the 2020 Olympics."

The national governing bodies for canoeing, swimming and rowing also received an increase of funding to the tune of AUD$500,000 (£280,000/$470,000/€350,000), AUD$250,000 (£140,000/$240,000/€170,000) and AUD$200,000 (£110,000/$190,000/€140,000) respectively.

"We have provided these sports with an increase due to their multi gold medal potential, improved performance profile and high preparation costs," Favier added.

"We have also increased our funding to taekwondo [(AUD$300,000 (£170,000/$280,000/€200,000)] following outstanding performances and women's water polo [$AUD275,000 (£150,000/$260,000/€190,000)].

"Women's water polo has been rewarded as they are potential Olympic gold medallists and we want to ensure our investment in the sport reflects this level of performance."

Australian football is among the sports to have suffered a cut in funding ©Getty ImagesAustralian football is among the sports to have suffered a cut in funding ©Getty Images

Sports such as tennis, rugby league, Australian football and cricket have, however, had their funding cut by AUD$400,000 (£220,000/$380,000/€280,000), AUD$190,660 (£105,000/$180,000/€130,000), AUD$194,000 (£107,000/$183,000/€133,000) and AUD$200,000 (£110,000/$190,000/€140,000) respectively.

Australian Sports Commission (ASC) chief executive Simon Hollingsworth claimed the reductions reflected the sports' ability to support themselves financially.

"Sports like AFL (Australian Football League), cricket, rugby league, and tennis are iconic sports for Australia," he said.

"Given these sports generate large amounts of broadcast revenue, the AIS considers it unnecessary to invest directly in their high performance outcomes.

"Alternative partnerships with these sports and the AIS will be pursued.

"The AIS will continue to financially support the large and active participation programmes these sports provide for 2014-2015."

The annual investment also includes nearly AUD$20 million (£11 million/$19 million/€14 million) for grassroots sports through participation grants to national governing bodies.

"It is pleasing that in these times of financial restraint we have been able to provide the same level of total funding as last year as we continue to sharpen our approach to investment in Australian sport," Wylie added.

"The more focused funding approach has seen a total of AUD$20 million (£11 million/$19 million/€14 million) be redirected in the past two years to sports with the greatest medal potential in Rio and beyond.

"Furthermore the financial support of athletes has never been greater with more than AUD$12 million (£7 million/$11 million/€8 million) allocated to assist some 650 eligible athletes through the AIS' Direct Athlete Support scheme."

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