Basketball wins Olympic funding reprieve

Table tennis, indoor volleyball, sitting volleyball and wrestling miss out

British Basketball's campaign to have its Olympic funding restored resulted in success today as UK Sport agreed to a reprieve.

The sport will now be able to run an elite programme targeted at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The exact funding has yet to be determined but it will run to several millions of pounds.

Basketball received £8.6million in the four years before London 2012 but in December it was announced by UK Sport that all funding would cease.

Wheelchair fencing has also been successful in an appeal - both sports' awards will be on a one-year conditional basis with the next three years' funding released only if they meet strict performance criteria.

Table tennis, indoor volleyball, sitting volleyball and wrestling will still receive zero funding despite pleas for a re-think.

British Basketball mobilised its most famous player, Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng, to write to Prime Minister David Cameron pleading for funding to be restored.

The sport's performance chairman Roger Moreland said: "We are absolutely delighted with the decision of UK Sport today.

"They have acknowledged that we successfully presented compelling new performance data, which not only impressed the Board but made them recognise that we are potential podium contenders for 2020.

"They could see from our evidence and that supplied by Patrick Baumann from our international federation (FIBA) that our sport has an upward trajectory in terms of both performance and participation.

"This is a momentous day for British basketball and everyone who is connected with the sports, whether players, fans or officials."

Baumann, secretary general of FIBA, said: "I am thrilled for British basketball and UK Sport's recognition and appreciation of the very strong case we presented. The new funding will allow the sport to build on the progress and growth it has already made in a very short time and aim for a podium place in 2020."

PA

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