Extra funding has been given to rugby sevens ahead of Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has announced that it will give 34 national governing bodies critical funding ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Due to the pandemic, many sporting bodies worldwide have faced financial pressure due to the lack of funding and a lack of sponsors as economies globally have taken a hit.

However, the AIS has increased its funding over the next two years for numerous sports, while continuing with the same level of pre-coronavirus funding for all other sports.

The biggest benefactor from the announcement is Rugby Australia which will get a AUS$2.2 million (£1.22 million/$1.54 million/€1.35 million) increase, while seven Paralympic sports will have a combined boost of AUS$1.5 million (£835,000/$1.05 million/€919,000).

These Para-sports are archery, men's wheelchair basketball, boccia, wheelchair rugby, triathlon, shooting and canoeing.

Men's football will also see an increase of AUS$400,000 (£223,000/$279,000/€245,000) and surfing will have a boost of AUS$200,000 (£116,500/$139,500/€122,500).

AIS aims to focus its funding on potential podium results and delivering success at the Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games.

Chair of the Australian Sports Commission John Wylie said the investment was critical to ensure success in 2021.

Australia's men's Olympic football team will also receive a boost in funding ©Getty Images
Australia's men's Olympic football team will also receive a boost in funding ©Getty Images

"Sports continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, however this funding will allow sports to plan with certainty and get ready for what I am sure will be an exciting and competitive Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Wiley.

"More than ever, Australians are turning to sport to lift spirits and I have no doubt our high-performance athletes will play a key role in our country's recovery from this pandemic."

AIS chief executive Peter Conde added: "This is the first Olympics for surfing and the first time in 12 years that the Olyroos [the men's Australian under-23 football team] have qualified for the Games, so this funding allows these sports to confidently prepare and get ready to show the world just what they can do.

"We will also be hoping that through this support the Australian rugby sevens deliver a repeat of the gold medal success our women's team experienced in Rio.

"It is through investments like this, along with additional support the AIS provides through well-being, workforce support and technology and innovation, that we see high performance sport inspiring both future competitors and the wider Australian community."

Australia are one of the most successful nations in Olympic history, but had its worst showing at Rio 2016 in over 20 years when the nation finished tenth on the medal table – last finishing that low at Barcelona 1992.