Britain looking to avoid post-Olympics slump

AP, Thursday 8 Dec 2011

Already looking to avoid a post-games slump in medals, Britain has started planning for ways to keep its momentum going from next year’s London Olympics right into the 2016 Rio Games

London 2012

The British have set a target of finishing in the top four in the overall medals table in London and hope to surpass the 47 medals the team won at the 2008 Beijing Games.

“Australia waited until after the (2000) games to really think about what happens next,” UK Sport director of performance Peter Keen said Thursday.“That is not the thing to do.”

The Australians won 58 medals at home in Sydney in 2000, but earned only 49 in Athens four years later.

“We are not reviewing at a time when people are tired,” Keen said. “You are whacked. … It is not the best time to think about what happens next from scratch.”

The London Olympics, which open in July, are still the main priority. And according to UK Sport, elite British athletes are exceeding expectations in 13 of 28 Olympic sports.

Concerns linger about the sporting legacy of Britain’s first Olympics since 1948.

To help London’s bid win in 2005, organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe pledged to use the Olympics to increase sports participation in the country. But sports minister Hugh Robertson called the latest set of participation figures from Sport England “disappointing.”

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