Third in the table? We'll do better than that, vow Paralympians

Head of UK Sport claims British team can go one better than their able-bodied compatriots

Britain's Paralympians will be aiming to win a minimum of 103 medals from 12 different sports at the London Games, which begin in just under two weeks time.

The target is the same as that set for the Olympic team, in that it will require the Paralympians to win more medals in more different sports than in Beijing four years ago.

The team hope to finish second in the league table, as they did in Beijing, but far below the overall winners, China. In Beijing Great Britain won 102 medals, including 42 golds from 11 sports. China won 89 golds.

Baroness Sue Campbell, the head of UK Sport, which sets the targets, said the Paralympians could "aspire to close the gap", but that realistically they could not catch China, who more than doubled Great Britain's medal tally four years ago.

Only six medals separated Great Britain from the USA in third, and there were only nine gold medals between them and tenth place.

"There are a lot of unknowns in Paralympic sport," she said. "People move disciplines, or they enter very suddenly, and there is not a lot of international competition to benchmark against."

She said 16 sports have a medal target "within their range", and that if the upper ranges of the targets were reached, Great Britain could win 145 medals. 85 per cent of the medals are expected to come from athletics, swimming, equestrian events and cycling.

Owing to the number of different classifications, there are 505 medal events in the Paralympics, compared to 302 in the Olympics. "Winning medals in front of an excited home crowd will give us a great platform to help shift perceptions of Paralympic sport," said Tim Hollingsworth, British Paralympic Association chief.

He said the Paralympics would be about "momentum, not legacy. Legacy suggests you've got to where you want to be and are trying to sustain it. We want to build on the success of the Paralympics."

The Paralympic team has been backed by more than £49m of funding from UK Sport. The Olympic team had been set a minimum target of 48 medals for London 2012, but surpassed that figure, finishing with 65 medals which included 29 golds .

"British Paralympic sport is better-resourced and in a stronger position than ever before," said Baroness Campbell. "We are able to confirm that our goal of holding second place in the Paralympic medal table at our home Games remains on track, in line with our intentions set out back in 2006 when extra funding for Olympic and Paralympic sport was secured.

"The fantastic news we received last week from the Prime Minister that funding for elite sport is to be maintained into the Rio cycle is a wonderful endorsement for the achievements of our Olympic and Paralympic athletes to date.

"I'd like to wish our Paralympians, their coaches and support staff every success in London and I hope they gain the recognition they deserve for their commitment and dedication to British sport."

Suggested Topics
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits