altLESS British athletes than ever are to receive the top level of National Lottery funding in the build-up to London 2012 after they won only four medals at the Beijing Olympics, including high jumper Germaine Mason (pictured), it was announced today.


The number of athletes receiving individual National Lottery assistance next year will fall by 20 per cent as athletes prepare for the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, and is expected to reduce further as the World Class programme gears towards maximising investment into genuine London 2012 prospects.


Charles van Commenee, the Dutchman who is Britain's new head coach and who is due to officially take over in February 2009 but is already closely involved with preparations for London 2012, is behind the changes.


He said: "We have taken a measured and impartial look at our athletes.


"For 2009 we are focusing podium level investment on those we believe will be successful in next summer’s World Championships.

“Thereafter the focus will be squarely on investing in the support of athletes I believe have what it takes to deliver the goods in London 2012.


"There can be no room for sentiment in elite athlete funding.


"I will use the system to ensure athletes are motivated to perform when it matters the most.

“We have a big year ahead of us, it is a World Championship year and we will see what athletes are worthy of investment leading onwards to London 2012 and beyond.”


Only six athletes have been included the in the top bracket of funding, known as A-level support, who receive up to the maximum award of £25,383 per annum, which is to cover living and sports expenses.


They are the medallists from the Beijing Olympics and last year's World Championships in Osaka.


The group consists of Christine Ohuruogu, the Olympic and world 400 metres champion, Olympic triple jump silver medallist Phillips Idowu, silver medallist Mason, and Beijing 400m hurdles bronze medallist Natasha Danvers.


They are joined by Nicola Sanders and Kelly Sotherton, who won silver and bronze medals in the 400m and heptathlon respectively in Osaka.


Mason had not received any Lottery funding in the build-up to Beijing.


Remarkably, before the 2004 Athens Olympics 224 British athletes were receiving National Lottery funding of one kind or another.


Now, only 33 athletes are receiving what is called "Podium" funding and a total of 48 are getting support, down from 67 last year.


Besides the six at A-category, there are 13 at B-level and 14 in the C-group, including world record holder for the marathon Paula Radcliffe who is ranked so low because she missed the 2007 World Championships and finished only 23rd in Beijing.


They receive up to £19,000 and £12,600 per year respectively.


All National Lottery funding awards are means tested which makes it unlikely that Radcliffe, Britain's highest-ever earning athlete, will receive more than a token sum.


Among those athletes who have lost their funding are Andy Turner, who failed to get beyond the second round of the 110m hurdles in Beijing, Becky Lyne and Rhys Williams.




Lyne won bronze in the 800m at the European Championships in 2006 but has struggled to reproduce that form since.


Williams also won bronze in the 400m hurdles alongside Lyne but missed the entire 2007 season and Beijing through injury.


A new development category has been created to enable funding of a reduced number of athletes already identified as potential medallists and finalists in London.


That group includes the world junior 1500m champion Stephanie Twell, who will receive some financial backing but more importantly the ability to help her access the support services of UK Athletics, including things like physiotherapist treatment.


The full list of athletes receiving National Lottery support is:


PODIUM (A/B/C/Relay)
Larry Achike; Harry Aikines-Aryeetey; Emma Ania; Andy Baddeley; Tim Benjamin; Martyn Bernard; Michael Bingham; Sarah Claxton; Tasha Danvers; Marlon Devonish; Lisa Dobriskey; Montell Douglas; Nathan Douglas; Tyrone Edgar; Jessica Ennis; Mo Farah; Rikki Fifton; Emily Freeman; Phillips Idowu; Jade Johnson; Jeanette Kwakye; Mark Lewis-Francis; Christian Malcolm; Germaine Mason; Lee McConnell; Marilyn Okoro; Christine Ohuruogu; Tom Parsons; Jo Pavey; Craig Pickering; Paula Radcliffe; Michael Rimmer; Martyn Rooney; Greg Rutherford; Nicola Sanders; Goldie Sayers; Kelly Sotherton; Andrew Steele; Robert Tobin; Chris Tomlinson; Laura Turner; Simeon Williamson; Mara Yamauchi


Phyllis Agbo; Dan Awde; Leon Baptiste; Meghan Beesley; James Brewer; Elizabeth Brathwaite; Richard Buck; Eilidh Child; Helen Clitheroe; James Dasaolu; Kate Dennison; Ed Dunford; Hannah England; Luke Fagan; Eden Francis; Gianni Frankis; Robbie Grabarz; David Greene; Sarah Holt; Vikki Hubbard; Jo Jackson; Hayley Jones; Laura Kenney; Chris Kirk; Tom Lancashire; Alison Leonard; Steve Lewis; Emma Lyons; Andrew Marsh; Jenny Meadows; Jonathan Moore; Alex Nelson; Ashlee Nelson; Anyika Onuora; Andrew Osagie; Emma Pallant; Barbara Parker; Asha Philip; Ryan Scott; Perri Shakes Drayton; Jemma Simpson; Alex Smith; Joe Thomas; Kadi-Ann Thomas; Steph Twell; Abby Westley; Richard Yates; Leevan Yearwood


Kola Adedoyin; Abdirisak Ahmed; Michael Baker; Niall Brooks; Chris Clarke; Lianne Clarke; Jess Coulson; Nick Cruchley; Torema Dorsett; Niall Flannery; David Forrester; Nathan Fox; Daniel Gardiner; David Guest; Joanne Harvey; Ashley Helsby; Sophie Hitchon; Simon Horsfield; Lauren Howarth; Jordan Huggins; Antonio Infantino; Jade Ive; Emma Jackson; Richard Kilty; Nigel Levine; Jack Meredith; Jordan McGrath; Alan McKie; James McLean; Oliver McNeillis; Adam Moore; Brett Morse; Matti Mortimore; Ross Murray; Jade Nimmo; Edirin Okoro; Trevor Okoroafor; Shelayna Oskan; Louis Persent; Emily Pidgeon; Beth Potter; Andrew Pozzi; Callum Priestley; Charlotte Purdue; Andy Robertson; Sally Scott; Anike Shand-Whittingham; Lynsey Sharp; Keiran Showler Davis; Chris Smith; Peter Smith; Ricky Stevenson; Stevie Stockton; Rachel Stringer; Andrew Sutcliffe; Jennifer Taker; Katarina Thompson; Shaunna Thompson; Deji Tobias; Sophie Upton; Nathan Wake; Rick Ward; Laura Weightman; Ben Williams; Nathan Woodward