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Statement: GB Badminton responds to UK Sport announcement

Statement: GB Badminton responds to UK Sport announcement

GB Badminton has reacted with complete devastation to this morning’s decision from UK Sport that they will be withdrawing all funding for the GB Badminton World Class Performance Programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic investment cycle.

Adrian Christy, Chief Executive, said: “We are staggered by this decision, it is incomprehensible.

“Despite the most successful Olympic Games since 2004 for GB Badminton, the decision presents a catastrophic impact on the sport and it will mean the cessation of all funding that supports the performance and operations of the GB Badminton Programme, including its current squad of players that includes Rio 2016 bronze medallists Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis and world number seven pair and World Superseries Finals winners Chris and Gabby Adcock and Rajiv Ouseph who reached the fifth place in the men’s singles - the first time ever Team GB have placed that high.

“How can you return from the best Games for more than a decade, in a year where our players have demonstrated World Class performances and where we can demonstrate the journey to Tokyo is on track, only to have every penny of investment withdrawn!

“We are prepared to fight for the hopes and dreams that their talent deserves and will be making representation to UK Sport and appealing to Sport Resolutions (UK) in due course.

“Badminton is one of the nation’s most participated sports – we are the 6th largest in weekly participation – and now those talented young players, Great Britain’s future Olympians, must wonder about their future ambitions having seen support for the World Class programme removed.”

Jon Austin, Performance Director, GB Badminton, said: “What have we done wrong? We could have done no more on court, to over-deliver against our Rio targets with a bronze medal in men’s doubles and a fifth-place finish in men’s singles, alongside the superb performance of our mixed doubles pair taking the Superseries Finals win last year.

“We have seen a complete transformation in the sport since London 2012 and the potential for Tokyo 2020 is already being realised; I have now had to tell a group of World Class players and coaches that the progress they have demonstrated through world class achievements is not being recognised.”

Stephen Baddeley, Chair of the GB Badminton Board, said: “We are absolutely staggered at the decision communicated to us by UK Sport this morning. That a sport which has only just recently contributed to the greatest ever medal haul for Team GB at an Olympic Games has to inform its athletes and support staff that their aspirations for continued future success have been shattered in an instant, is one that we are finding difficult to comprehend.”