Tokyo 2020 - No Olympic medal targets for Team GB in Japan - chef de mission Mark England
Asked if Britain can exceed the 67 medals won at Rio 2016, England said neither the British Olympic Association or UK Sport are likely to set any targets for what success looks like in Japan, partly because data from competitors “isn’t there” due to a lack of competition because of Covid-19 in the past 12 months. The 67 claimed in Brazil was Team GB’s best ever overseas Games.
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Team GB’s chef de mission says the British Olympic Association will not be setting medal targets for Tokyo 2020.
Mark England cited the lack of data from rival countries as one of the key reasons, as so many events have been postponed or cancelled over the past year or so due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Great Britain and Northern Ireland produced its greatest ever overseas Games at Rio 2016, coming home with 67 medals, 27 of which were gold. This time round, there are doubts over several of Team GB’s best hopes - with former champions Mo Farah and Alistair Brownlee among the athletes who have so far failed to qualify for Tokyo.
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“We haven’t put a medal target on it – and we won’t, to be honest. I don’t think UK Sport will either,” England told reporters.
“The past 12 months has given an opportunity for young athletes to be stronger and put themselves in contention.
But it has been very obvious that any competition data in terms of where we stand against our main competitors across the world really isn’t there. We only have snatches of times and qualification times.
Team GB has seen a huge improvement in its summer Olympics medal tally since Beijing 2008 - when athletes brought home 51 medals in comparison to a haul of 30 and 28 at Athens 2004 and Sydney 2000 respectively.
65 were won at London 2012, two fewer than Rio but with two more gold medals.