Britain aims for 48 medals in Olympics

Britain aims for 48 medals in Olympics

LONDON - The Associated Press
Britain aims for 48 medals in Olympics

Drug convict Dwain Chambers is a surprise addition the Great Britain’s Olympic athletics squad, after his lifetime ban was overturned by world anti-doping chiefs. AFP photo

Britain’s official target at the London Olympics is to win at least 48 medals across at least 12 sports, a slight increase from the total haul at the Beijing Games in 2008.

The host team is still aiming to finish among the top four, which has been the goal ever since the Beijing Games, UK Sport said yesterday.

Britain won 47 medals across 11 sports in 2008, finishing fourth behind China, the United States and Russia.

“The majority of people will judge the success of this event not on how smoothly the transport system runs but where we are in the medals table,” British sports minister Hugh Robertson said.

UK Sport said Britain could win as many as 70 medals if the team performs at its best. Its minimum expected medal haul is 40. Football wasn’t included in the calculations.

“The system would have underperformed if we achieve 40 medals,” said Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport - a body which distributes National Lottery funding to Olympic sports ycling is predicted to be Britain’s most successful sport, with six to 10 medals expected. Swimming, athletics and rowing are all expected to harvest at least five medals.

Britain isn’t expected to medal in seven sports - basketball, handball, synchronized swimming, table tennis, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.

“Beijing 2008 was an outstanding games for British athletes, and we knew at the time that bettering or even matching that achievement would not be easy, and should not be underestimated,” Nicholl said.

“The number of medals is more important than where we finish in the table.”

Britain isn’t targeting the number of gold medals it will win.

“Since Beijing, the performance system has stepped up another gear and we really believe that the nation will be inspired this summer by our athletes winning more medals in more sports.”

Britain is expected to battle with Australia and Germany for fourth place in the overall medals table.