British Athletics World Class Program

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Sophie McKinna.jpgJazmin Sawyers, photo by British Athletics / Getty Images

1270649142.jpgAimee Pratt, photo by British Athletics / Getty Images

1270782583.jpgMorgan Lake, photo by British Athletics / Getty Images

775279463_MS_0150_20E767C314D6C8C3B12D7A385FCE1953.JPGLaura Muir, photo by British Athletics / Getty Images

Stuart Weir sent in this piece on how British Athletics is announcing its WCP program. Stuart notes the challenges in doing this program in a pandemic. He also notes that new stars, like Jessie Knight and Harry Coppel, got nothing and Jemma Reekie did not move to the next level.

British Athletics World Class Program

British Athletics has confirmed that 117 athletes who have been offered membership to the 2020/2021 Olympic and Paralympic World Class Program (WCP). 69 for Olympics and 48 for Paralympics. Those on the Olympic program are divided into three categories: Olympic Podium 30, Potential 16 and Relay 23. Funding 23 athletes for the five relays is a confirmation of the commitment to seek to secure as many relay medals as possible.

Athletes who accept membership of the program will receive up to £28,000 ($36,000) at Podium level and up to £15,000 ($20,000) at potential level, as a tax-free grant awarded to athletes in support of their progression towards the podium at the Olympic Games in addition to help with medical and training camp costs. Athletes with significant additional income from other sources may have their grant reduced. Athletes are required to accept the conditions of the program and may, for example, be required to attend certain training camps and participate in certain competitions.

Full details of the terms and conditions can be found at http://www.uka.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-2021-World-Class-Programme-Selection-Policy-Olympic-Athletes-updated-26.10.2020.pdf See especially Appendix 1

Due to the challenging circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, and the impact this has had on our athletes, British Athletics has retained all athletes from the 2019/2020 World Class Programme for the year ahead. We are fully committed to continuing their support as they target the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2021.

World Class Programme Director, Steve Paulding, said: "The last few months have provided many challenges for everyone, so we are pleased to be able to retain all the athletes who were on the World Class Programme last year, for 2021. Additionally, we are delighted to be looking at creating alternative ways to support several athletes via a Tokyo Support Package.

"These discussions are taking place following a year in sport which has been like no other we have experienced. We want to engage and support as many athletes as possible who have shown real potential for Tokyo during the disrupted season, but we have not been able to add to the Olympic WCP. So, we will aim to support a limited number of athletes in accessing the support which will help them achieve this.

"I'd like to thank the National Lottery and UK Sport for their continued investment in the World Class Programme. The support enables our athletes to be the best prepared in their quest for success at the world's most significant sporting events."

The decision to honour their commitment to help those selected one year ago as potential 2020 Olympians, to continue through to the postponed Olympics seems very fair and reasonable. It would have been harsh to remove an athlete from the program for failing to perform well this year in view of the challenges in training and lack of opportunities to compete.

1270668327.jpgJessie Knight, photo by British Athletics / Getty Images

On the other hand, for athletes like Jessie Knight, who made so much progress this year, Harry Coppell who set a new national pole vault record and Marc Scott, it is disappointing that they remain outside the program. Paulding's comment that there would be help for some athletes who had shown real potential to assist them in accessing the support they need, will be an encouragement that they have not been forgotten. In a normal year Jemma Reekie and Daniel Rowden would have expected to have progressed from potential to podium.

BD6I9633_2020090450422356_20200904053555.JPGHarry Coppel, photo by British Athletics / Getty Images

List of Athletes on the program

Olympic Podium (16)

Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie; Blackheath & Bromley)

Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake; Tonbridge)

Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson; Blackburn)

Mo Farah (Gary Lough; Newham & Essex Beagles)

Adam Gemili (Rana Reider; Blackheath & Bromley)

Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins; Kilbarchan)

Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson; Blackburn)

Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills; Shaftesbury Barnet)

Abigail Irozuru (Self-coached; Sale Harriers Manchester)

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Bertrand Valcin; Liverpool)

Nick Miller (Tore Gustafsson; Border)

Laura Muir (Andy Young; Dundee Hawkhill)

Reece Prescod (Mike Holloway; Enfield & Haringey)

Lynsey Sharp (David Harmer; Edinburgh)

Lorraine Ugen (Dwight Phillips; Thames Valley)

Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman; Edinburgh)

Olympic Podium Potential (30)

Andrew Butchart (Self-coached; Central)

Taylor Campbell (John Pearson; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)

Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Rob Denmark; Poole)

Tim Duckworth (Toby Stevenson; Liverpool)

Niamh Emerson (David Feeney; Amber Valley & Erewash)

Tom Gale (Denis Doyle; Team Bath)

Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg; Birchfield Harriers)

Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas; Giffnock North)

Charlie Da'Vall Grice (Self; Brighton Phoenix)

Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans; Swansea)

Josh Kerr (Danny Mackey; Edinburgh)

Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)

Kyle Langford (Jon Bigg; Shaftesbury Barnet)

Chris McAlister (Marina Armstrong; Thames Valley)

Eilish McColgan (Liz Nuttall; Dundee Hawkhill)

Sarah McDonald (David Harmer; Birchfield Harriers)

Sophie McKinna (Mike Winch; Great Yarmouth)

Naomi Ogbeta (Tom Cullen; Trafford)

Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Derek Thompson; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)

Andrew Pozzi (Santiago Antunez; Stratford-upon-Avon)

Aimee Pratt (Vincente Modahl; Sale Harriers Manchester)

Charlotte Purdue (Nic Bideau; Aldershot Farnham & District)

Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchan)

Daniel Rowden (Matt Yates; Woodford Green Essex Ladies)

Jazmin Sawyers (Lance Brauman; City of Stoke)

Steph Twell (Self; Aldershot Farnham & District)

Jamie Webb (Adrian Webb; Liverpool)

Laura Weightman (Steve Cram; Morpeth)

Callum Wilkinson (Robert Heffernan; Enfield & Haringey)

Ben Williams (Aston Moore; Sale Harriers Manchester)

Olympic Relays (23)

Amy Allcock (Glyn Hawkes; Aldershot Farnham & District)

Kristal Awuah (Matthew Thomas; Herne Hill)

Cameron Chalmers (Matt Elias; Guernsey)

Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna; Thames Valley)

Emily Diamond (Benke Blomkvist; Bristol & West)

Beth Dobbin (Leon Baptiste; Edinburgh)

Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle; Pitreavie)

Miguel Francis (Glen Mills; Wolverhampton & Bilston)

Matthew Hudson-Smith (Lance Brauman; Birchfield Harriers)

Richard Kilty (Michael Afilaka; Middlesbrough)

Imani-Lara Lansiquot (Steve Fudge; Sutton & District)

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Lance Brauman; Newham & Essex Beagles)

Daryll Neita (Rana Reider; Cambridge Harriers)

Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka; City of Stoke)

Laviai Nielsen (Christine Bowmaker; Enfield & Haringey)

Asha Philip (Steve Fudge; Newham & Essex Beagles)

Martyn Rooney (Nick Dakin; Croydon)

Danny Talbot (Vince Anderson; Birchfield Harriers)

Jessica Turner (Nick Dakin; Amber Valley & Erewash)

CJ Ujah (Ryan Freckleton; Enfield & Haringey)

Jodie Williams (Stuart McMillan; Herts Phoenix)

Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan; Enfield & Haringey)

Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams; Newham & Essex Beagles)

The British Athletics WCP is UK Sport's National Lottery-funded initiative to support the delivery of success at the world's most significant sporting events. Membership onto the WCP for 2020-21 is based upon an athletes' realistic potential to win a medal at Tokyo 2020 or Paris 2024.

There are three levels of membership of the WCP at Olympic level with numbers for 2020-21 broken down as follows: Olympic Podium (16), Olympic Podium Potential (30), and Olympic Relays (23).

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