Brits hope to avoid dreaded 4th place at Olympics
Britain is pushing its athletes to turn fourth-place results
into podium finishes to achieve its medal target on home soil at
the London Olympics.
A projected medals table published in the Times of London
newspaper this week predicted Britain and Russia would record more
fourth-place finishes – 21 – than any other nation.
British athletes are looking to translate those performances
into medals, British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt
”For many athletes, (fourth place) is the most difficult result
at the Olympic Games,” he said. ”While it represents a remarkable
achievement, it is also painfully close to a podium finish and the
realization of a dream that drives so many athletes – which is to
one day be called an Olympic medalist.”
Britain won 47 medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and finished
fourth behind China, the United States and Russia.
Consolidating that position has been the host nation’s aim ever
since, while Hunt said another goal is to ”win more medals across
more sports than in a century.”
To do that, the BOA has made it a priority to provide athletes
with the resources and support to make the podium in their
”In my many conversations and interaction with the athletes and
coaches who are training and competing day in, day out, in hopes of
representing Team GB at London 2012, one of the observations many
have shared with me is the mixed blessing that is a fourth-place
finish,” Hunt said.
”On the one hand, your or your team are the fourth best in the
world, which is a tremendous accomplishment in any endeavor. On the
other, a podium finish was clearly within reach.”