500 athletes for Team GB at London Games

THE British team at the London Olympics will number at least 500 athletes, it was announced yesterday.

The figure is short of the 550-strong team the British Olympic Association (BOA) originally planned but the announcement will ease fears that funding problems could lead to a team of only 350. There were 311 members in the Team GB which won 47 medals including 19 golds at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The BOA had told national governing bodies last year that the original plan of having 550 athletes in Team GB was dependent on cost, otherwise there would be a smaller team of around 350 competitors. At a meeting of the National Olympic Committee this week, the BOA said it would be at least 500, the largest for Great Britain for more than a century.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

BOA chief Andy Hunt said: "This is an important step on the road to 2012. It's more than 100 years since we sent a team of this size to an Olympic Games."

The meeting took the first steps in deciding the selection criteria that athletes will have to pass to make the team. BOA chairman Colin Moynihan warned the selection criteria would be tough.

Moynihan said: "We won't be taking any passengers with us and we will set exacting standards that ensure the athletes who represent Team GB are truly the best of British."