10 January 2018Team GB given target of winning five medals at 2018 Winter Olympics
The group of 60-plus athletes, the largest ever sent from this country, will be expected to beat the record-equalling tally of four won in Sochi in 2014.
UK Sport has set a target range for the Olympic team at four to 10 medals, and six to 12 medals for the Paralympic team. That has more than doubled to £32m over four years for Pyeongchang, but the sums involved contrast starkly with the £100m annual investment in summer Olympic sports.
A total in the range of six to 11 medals is forecast for Paralympic skiing and snowboard along with an additional one in wheelchair curling. Short track speed skater Elise Christie, a triple gold medalist at last year's world championships, will again be one of the big hopes after bouncing back from three disqualifications in Sochi.
At the Korean Cultural Centre in London today, a month before the Winter Games open on February 9, UK Sport confirmed a target of four to ten medals with "at least five" specified. The team smashed their own targets, winning 147 medals. "We know that our goals for any Games are always ambitious".
"Nevertheless, some fantastic work has gone on behind the scenes by all the teams working with our athletes to ensure they are the best prepared in the world". Sochi 2014 champion Lizzy Yarnold is aiming to become the first Britain to defend an Olympic title, while team-mate Laura Deas has produced the best results so far this season.
Figure skating and bobsleigh's exchequer and National Lottery cash was also under threat after they, too, committed only to top-eight and top-five finishes, respectively, ahead of Tuesday's announcement of Team GB's podium prospects. Britain's opportunities could also depend on the number of Russian athletes deemed eligible to compete as part of a neutral "Olympic Athletes from Russia" team following the doping scandal.
James Woods and Izzy Atkin won world championships medals previous year while snowboarders Katie Ormerod and Katie Summerhayes, along with slalom skier Dave Ryding and the cross-country skier Andrew Musgrave, have had great starts to their seasons. Gallagher has not been initially selected for Pyeongchang, but could yet join world downhill champion Millie Knight and 2016 World Cup champion Menna Fitzpatrick in the ParalympicsGB squad.