Olympic silver medallist Mason one of five GB high jumpers dropped from funding

Germaine Mason and four other GB high jumpers miss out on top-level funding, along with the likes of Kelly Sotherton, Jemma Simpson and Simeon Williamson

Germaine Mason

Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason has not been included in UKA’s top level of funding in the lastest list of athletes announced on the World Class Performance Programme (WCCP).

Mason is one of five British high jumpers to miss out on funding, along with European bronze medallist Martyn Bernard, Olympic finalist and UK indoor champion Tom Parsons, world indoor finalist Samson Oni and Robbie Grabarz. It is a stark contrast to the picture painted three years ago, when Great Britain had three Olympic high jump finalists.

Mason has struggled with injury in recent years, but leapt 2.31m in 2009 and made a surprise return at this year’s UK Championships to place fifth. But fellow Olympic medallist Tasha Danvers remains on the top level of funding, despite only competing four times in the 400m hurdles since her medal-winning 2008 season.

The five high jumpers are just a few of the 34 athletes who have been dropped from the WCCP. Also missing out are former Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton, who last year switched from the heptathlon to the 400m in order to remain on the funding list, but endured a frustrating season in which she failed to make the relay team for the World Championships. Emily Freeman, another athlete who was encouraged to move to the 400m, wound up injured for the whole of 2011 and has similarly been dropped.

Middle-distance runners Andy Baddeley, Jemma Simpson and Charlene Thomas have also been taken off the funding list, while several sprinters have faced a similar fate, including Commonwealth 200m champion Leon Baptiste, 2009 UK 100m champion Simeon Williamson, and Olympic semi-finalists Tyrone Edgar and Andrew Steele. European and Commonwealth silver medallist Mark Lewis-Francis, meanwhile, has been downgraded from the top-level podium list to the ‘relay’ level of funding – a list that is much shorter than ever before with just three names.

Britain’s leading race-walker Jo Jackson and Commonwealth heptathlon champion Louise Hazel have both been dropped from the development list of funded athletes.

Distance runner Helen Clitheroe has not been added to the list, despite having her greatest season to date, winning the European indoor 3000m title and making the world 5000m final. Likewise, Anyika Onuora has not been added, despite improving significantly this year and being one of just three British athletes to set a PB at the World Championships.

New British recruits Tiffany Porter, Yamile Aldama and Julian Reid have all been added or upgraded, while Shara Proctor retains her top-level funding.

Other new additions to the top level of funding are UK pole vault record-holder Holly Bleasdale, discus world finalist Brett Morse and European indoor finalist Richard Strachan. Joining the development list are the likes of UK discus record-holder Lawrence Okoye, breakthrough marathon runner Scott Overall, and young sprinters James Alaka, Adam Gemili and Luke Fagan.

Aside from Danvers, other injury-plagued athletes to remain on the top level of funding include triple jumper Nathan Douglas, 400m runner Nicola Sanders, and 2009 world 1500m silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey.

Double European junior champion Jodie Williams has once again opted out of the funding programme.

» See this week’s AW for a full run-down on all the moves in the 2011 WCCP funding list. Meanwhile, here’s the full list of lottery-funded athletes.

Podium

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Yamile Aldama, Michael Bingham, Holly Bleasdale, Chris Clarke, Tasha Danvers, Hatti Dean, Kate Dennison, Marlon Devonish, Lisa Dobriskey, Nathan Douglas, Hannah England, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Jack Green, Dai Greene, Phillips Idowu, Emma Jackson, Jeanette Kwakye, Nigel Levine, Steve Lewis, Christian Malcolm, Lee McConnell, Jenny Meadows, Brett Morse, Christine Ohuruogu, Marilyn Okoro, Craig Pickering, Tiffany Porter, Shara Proctor, Paula Radcliffe, Michael Rimmer, Martyn Rooney, Greg Rutherford, Nicola Sanders, Goldie Sayers, Perri Shakes-Drayton, William Sharman, Richard Strachan, Chris Thompson, Chris Tomlinson, Andy Turner, Steph Twell, Rhys Williams, Nathan Woodward, Mara Yamauchi.

Podium Relay

Shana Cox, James Ellington, Mark Lewis-Francis.

Development

James Alaka, Meghan Beesley, David Bolarinwa, Ashley Bryant, Abdul Buhari, Eilidh Child, Lawrence Clarke, Adam Cotton, Lee Doran, Max Eaves, Luke Fagan, Adam Gemili, Thomas Green, Charlie Grice, David Guest, Sophie Hitchon, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Luke Lennon-Ford, Mervyn Luckwell, Jack Meredith, Eilish McColgan, Mukhtar Mohammed, Jade Nicholls, Lawrence Okoye, Andrew Osagie, Scott Overall, Andrew Pozzi, Charlotte Purdue, Julian Reid, Matthew Roberts, Laura Samuel, Chris Scott, James Shane, Lynsey Sharp, Alex Smith, Stacey Smith, Andrew Sutcliffe, Danny Talbot, Lorraine Ugen, Laura Weightman, Laura Whittingham.

Disability podium

Hollie Arnold, Paul Blake, Sally Brown, Mickey Bushell, Libby Clegg, Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies, David Devine, Kyron Duke, Dan Greaves, Katrina Hart, Beverley Jones, Jenny McLoughlin, Stephen Miller, Scott Moorhouse, Stefanie Reid, Hazel Robson, Ben Rushgrove, Nathan Stephens, Sophia Warner, David Weir, Dan West, Richard Whitehead, Shelly Woods, Bethany Woodward.

Disability development

Ola Abidogun, Jonathan Adams, Sean Clare, Matthew Hickling, Jordan Howe, Jade Jones, Rhys Jones, Dean Miller, Georgina Oliver, Jonathan Peacock, Vicky Silk, Owain Taylor, Kieran Tscherniawsky.

6 Responses to “Olympic silver medallist Mason one of five GB high jumpers dropped from funding”

  1. ray says:

    some of these seems illogical – why retain Tasha Danvers yet drop others after a year?

    • Kevin O'Neill says:

      I agree; do they just pick names at random out of a hat? You have to include those with genuine abilty/potential who have been unlucky with injury, whilst dropping those who are clearly past it – such as Danvers.

  2. Julian says:

    Several of the podium athletes didn't even make the World Championship team, that does seem incredibly odd! Especially when they were beaten in the British Champs by other athletes…

  3. tad says:

    Lets put Jonathan Edwards on podium funding, he hasn't jumped since 2003, but hay that doesn't seem to matter. I do feel sorry for some of the athletes who have been taken off funding even so they have shown more consistent improvement season on season through the past few years in comparison to some of the names on the list. Then again, Andy Turner did it without funding, so keep working hard people and hopefully see many of you in London 2012.

  4. Colin Sinfield says:

    I look forward to some of the 'dumped' athletes making arses out of the people responsible for them losing funding.

  5. chris says:

    The sprint relay team cant even get a batton round at times! why are half of them still funded!??

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