Woodward hails perfect preparation for Team GB medal hopes

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The elite performance director Sir Clive Woodward believes the British Olympic Association's Macau training camp will give Team GB's athletes the best possible opportunity for Olympic glory next month – but refused to be drawn on any potential medal aspirations.

Much of the talk emanating from the camp has centred on the fact that the Beijing Games are seen as a platform to mount a successful challenge at London 2012. However, UK Sport, which distributes Lottery funding to British Olympians, has reportedly set a target of 35 medals for next month's showpiece. Woodward was quick to play down any potential figure but the former England rugby union coach underlined that he felt the camp will provide the team every opportunity to succeed.

"When you're in the hot seat the last thing you want is other people putting targets on you," he said. "All you can look for is the coaches and athletes to do their best and if they do that and they win medals, that's great. So we're here to make sure everything is in place for them. You've got to get this bit right. There's no point in preparing for four years unless you get that last window right and there's a lot of pressure.

"This is the one moment of the athletes' lives to win a medal or do something special so you've got to get all those things right. I think they've done great. This is their moment and I'm sure we'll have a great Games."

The International Olympic Committee yesterday revoked a ban on Iraq's participation in Beijing, although deadlines for team submissions mean the country's contingent will be limited to two athletes.