A total of 30 athletes including Alex Bell, Chris O’Hare and Stephanie Davis are offered individual funding
British endurance running has again received £350,000 of support from London Marathon Events, with 30 athletes offered individual funding for 2020.
World 800m semi-finalist Alex Bell, European indoor 3000m silver medallist Chris O’Hare and sub-2:28 marathoner Stephanie Davis are among those to have been offered support as they work towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Bell was one of eight athletes on last year’s inaugural London Marathon Events funding programme to have represented Great Britain at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.
Three others – Marc Scott, Ben Connor and Zak Seddon – continue on the programme for 2020, while another four – Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell, Aimee Pratt and Neil Gourley – have progressed to British Athletics’ Olympic Podium Potential support.
The athlete programme is part of the larger funding commitment from London Marathon Events to British endurance running that includes support of the World Class Programme and training camps for British endurance athletes.
“I am extremely grateful to receive another year of help from London Marathon Events,” said Bell. “I had a memorable year on the track last year reaching the World Championships semi-finals and now I have the Tokyo Olympic Games as my big motivation for 2020.
“This funding will be crucial to help and support me in a year that could be the biggest of my career to date.”
London Marathon Events worked with British Athletics to select the nominated individual athletes, with the funding designed to provide a bridge for endurance runners to the World Class Programme and to improve the standard of British endurance running across all distances.
In addition to the 15 athletes who are continuing on the funding programme, 15 new names have been added to the list including Rosie Clarke and Elizabeth Bird, who both ran the 3000m steeplechase at last year’s World Championships, plus Piers Copeland, 1500m silver medallist at the European U23 Championships, and Davis, who last year moved to ninth on the UK women’s marathon all-time list.
The athletes were shortlisted by a panel of British Athletics and London Marathon Events endurance experts and range from middle-distance runners to marathon specialists. No athlete currently funded through the British Athletics World Class Programme is eligible to receive London Marathon Events individual funding.
Hugh Brasher, event director of London Marathon Events, said: “We are passionate about effectively supporting British endurance running and the first year of this new initiative of funding individual athletes has produced good results.
“Eight of our funded athletes were selected for the World Championships and now four of those have progressed on to the British Athletics Olympic Podium Potential programme.
“The aim of this funding was to provide a pathway for talented endurance athletes and these results show it is working.”