British medal haul 'likely to fall' in Athens

The British Olympic Association yesterday admitted that its team for the summer Games will not be able to match the medal success of Sydney in 2000. The BOA predicts British athletes will win between six and nine gold medals, compared to 11 golds four years ago out of a total of 28 medals.

The British Olympic Association yesterday admitted that its team for the summer Games will not be able to match the medal success of Sydney in 2000. The BOA predicts British athletes will win between six and nine gold medals, compared to 11 golds four years ago out of a total of 28 medals.

The BOA chief executive, Simon Clegg, said "Team GB" had medal chances in 15 of the 21 sports it has entered and could bring home at least 25 medals. Clegg said: "If we come back with six or seven golds then it is a good result for Team GB and British sport. It would also be good for the London bid for the Games."

Britain's greatest chance of gold is provided in the women's marathon by the world record-holder Paula Radcliffe. The team also contains potential champions in the men's four and women's pair in rowing. Sailing may see some golds from Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell. Other realistic contenders include Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy (cycling), Georgie Harland (women's modern pentathlon) and Pippa Funnell (equestrianism).

The predictions were made by the BOA following the return from Athens of its team leaders, who said they were satisfied venues would be ready for the start of the Games on 12 August.

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