In UKA’s list of funded athletes for 2013, Paula Radcliffe is one of many to miss out but insists retirement isn’t on the cards
Marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe is one of a handful of leading British athletes who will miss out on funding for the 2013 season.
In the list of names released today on UK Athletics’ world class performance programme (WCCP), Radcliffe is conspicuous in her absence as she has been an ever-present on the list ever since lottery funding from UK Sport began.
UKA has stressed that the WCCP for next year will focus more on potential medallists within the next Olympic cycle as opposed to finalists, so it may come as no surprise to 38-year-old Radcliffe – who missed out on competing at this year’s London Olympics – that she will not receive any backing over the next few years.
But 40-year-old triple jumper Yamile Aldama has maintained her place on the list, while Jo Pavey – who was cut from funding a few years ago – has been added back on to the programme after a successful Olympic campaign which saw her place seventh in both the 5000m and 10,000m finals. She will turn 40 years old next year.
“I am very grateful for the support Lottery Funding gives us athletes and fully expected to see it withdrawn,” tweeted Radcliffe, who was means-tested out of the financial side of lottery support. “From the beginning I have only ever received medical support, which is of course significant and vital.
“Retirement is definitely not in any plans!” she added. “I’m not doing all this cross training and getting this foot healthy and strong for nothing!”
Other athletes to miss out on making the list include veteran sprinter Marlon Devonish, injured triple jumper Nathan Douglas, former world indoor silver medallist Jeanette Kwakye, former world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders and 2010 European 10,000m silver medallist Chris Thompson.
But there have also been several new additions to the list, most of which will come as no surprise. They include Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz, world junior 100m champion Adam Gemili, UK junior heptathlon record-holder Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Olympic 110m hurdles fourth-placer Lawrence Clarke and breakthrough distance runner Julia Bleasdale.
There are also some notable changes elsewhere in the list as some athletes have been backed solely on the basis of their potential to win a medal as part of a relay team. Martyn Rooney and Perri Shakes-Drayton, who were previously funded on the basis of being individual medal prospects, will now just receive relay-level funding after they both missed out on making their individual event finals at the 2012 Olympics and 2011 World Championships.
“Being part of the World Class Performance Plan is a privilege and not a right and athletes selected will be expected to fulfill tough performance criteria,” said UKA’s new performance director, Neil Black. “We have identified a very talented group of athletes for support over the coming year and I am confident that we can build on the success of the last Olympic and Paralympic cycle starting with the European Indoors in Gothenburg in March.
“Accountability is at the heart of this programme and athletes who have not met performance criteria over the last year will not receive continued support. It is undoubtedly tough, but that is performance sport.”
Luke Lennon Ford
Tasha Danvers (retired)
Kate Dennison (retired)