De Vos urges 2012 Olympic athletes to aim high

British athletes have been set the target of winning 10 medals at the London Olympics in 2012. UK Athletics' chief executive, Niels de Vos, says it is an "optimistic target" but that it was important to aim to do better than Britain has ever done.

"We have to aim for the best we've ever done at our home Games," said De Vos. "I'm perfectly happy to put a target out there that's aspirational. We should be aiming to get a better return that we've had in the past. I've based it on the number of finalists we've been getting in the past four or five years, which has been going up at each major championship. At the last two major finals, the Worlds and the Olympics, we've had 25 finalists. Can we get to 10 medals? We got six at the Worlds, so there is a way to go, but it's possible."

At the Beijing Games in 2008, Team GB's athletes missed the target of five medals set for them by UK Sport, coming home with four – one gold, two silver and one bronze. "Have we got the chance of winning more medals than any other sport? Yes, we have," he added.