With the funding body coming under increasing financial pressure, sports failing its podium test are being made to pay a heavier price
When Gail Emms was asked about UK Sport’s decision to reject the desperate pleas of seven sports, including GB Badminton, to be funded for the Tokyo Olympics, she was poetic in her response. “It’s like someone just taking your heart, your emotions, your dreams and basically tearing them up,” said Emms, a badminton silver medallist at the 2004 Olympics, with a sigh.
But UK Sport has a tin ear for poetry. Its language is cold, hard, medal-economics. Once it had decided in December that badminton – along with archery, fencing, goal ball, table tennis, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby – had little chance of winning any medals in 2020, any representations to the contrary were always likely to fall on deaf ears.