Team GB have been set the target of winning at least 48 Olympic medals at Rio 2016 here today ©ITG

Team GB have been set the target of winning at least 48 Olympic medals at Rio 2016 here today.

UK Sport, the nation’s high performance sports agency, wants the British Olympic team to eclipse the 47 medals achieved at Beijing 2008 - the country’s best-ever medal haul in an overseas Games. 

Having invested a record £350 million ($467 million/€419 million) from Government and the National Lottery into elite sport since London 2012, UK Sport have set the Olympic medal target range at 47 to 79.

Anything above 65 would surpass the record haul set at London 2012 - 29 golds, 17 silvers and 19 bronzes - and make Britain the first hosts to increase their tally at the next edition of the summer Games.

UK Sport is expecting at least 121 Paralympic medals, beating the London 2012 total of 120 - 34 golds, 43 silvers and 43 bronzes. 

The range for British Paralympians has been set at 113 to 165. 

"Targeting a record-breaking away Olympic Games and a Paralympic medal haul that surpasses that of London 2012 shows the ambition and talent within our high performance system," said Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport. 

"Our aspirational goal to become the first host nation to eclipse our London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medal haul has proved hugely motivational and we are delighted that these incredibly challenging goals sit within both Olympic and Paralympic medal ranges. 

"This shows that our aspirational goal has kept British sport united, motivated and determined to build on those incredible successes in London.

"We have a greater number of sports targeting medals than we did in Beijing in 2008, which shows a high-performance system that is growing stronger and more sustainable Games after Games."

Simon Timson, director of performance at UK Sport, added: "Beijing 2008 was a record-breaking Olympics for Team GB, but I’m confident we can top it in Rio and make this our best ever away Games, while Paralympics GB can eclipse their haul from London.

"With the backing of National Lottery players and through our partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association, ours will be the best-supported and prepared athletes in Rio bar none, primed and ready to once again make the nation proud."

Britain won six athletics medals at London 2012, including golds for Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford. 

UK Sport has raised the medal target for the sport at Rio 2016 to between seven and nine.

Britain’s cyclists have been given the biggest target, of between eight and 10 medals, while rowers are expected to win between six and eight medals.

Cycling produced a dozen medals at London 2012, while rowing delivered nine.

Tennis and golf, both of which are not funded by UK Sport, have been set medal targets of between one and two.

"If the stars align and things go perfectly, it’s possible that the 66 [more medals than at London 2012] could happen," said Timson.

"It’s not probable - we don’t see it as a likely outcome, but it’s still within range so I think we’ve got a great opportunity to have a fantastic Games that will unite the nation."

UK Sport has raised the athletics medal target for Rio 2016 from the six won at London 2012 ©Getty Images
UK Sport has raised the athletics medal target for Rio 2016 from the six won at London 2012 ©Getty Images

Data and media services company Infostrada Sport are forecasting Britain will finish fourth in the Rio 2016 medal table with 51 - 18 golds, 16 silvers and 17 bronzes.

"We fully believe Team GB can once again make history at this summer’s Olympic Games and unite the nation," said Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the BOA. 

"This is an extremely talented team and with the very best support in place in Rio we will provide a platform for Olympic Sports to confidently strive for their goals.

“We are proud that our partnership with UK Sport continues to develop for the benefit of the nation’s athletes and those who are inspired by Team GB.  

"We look forward to leaving for Rio very soon for what we confidently believe with be a tremendously successful Olympic Games for both athletes and fans."