National governing body names the athletes to be offered support through its World Class Performance Programme

Dina Asher-Smith, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Greg Rutherford and Jonnie Peacock are among the athletes to be supported by UK Athletics’ World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) for 2015-16, while Lawrence Clarke, Hannah England, Eilish McColgan and Gemma Steel are among those to have been dropped from funding.

The selection of athletes has again been based on the potential of winning medals at Olympic and Paralympic Games. The WCPP is funded by the National Lottery through UK Sport and split into two levels: ‘Podium’ for the athletes the national governing body believes have the potential to win medals at Rio 2016 and ‘Podium Potential’ for athletes developing towards Tokyo 2020.

British 100m and 200m record-breaker Asher-Smith, world hammer fourth-placer Sophie Hitchon, world 200m fifth-placer Zharnel Hughes, world 1500m fifth-placer Laura Muir and world long jump fifth-placer Lorraine Ugen have all been added to the top level of support.

European junior 800m champion Kyle Langford, who also ran for GB at the World Championships in Beijing, plus world 800m fifth-placer Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, world junior 400m hurdles silver medallist Shona Richards, long distance runner Kate Avery, race walker Tom Bosworth and sprint hurdler Lucy Hatton have been added to the list of ‘Podium Potential’ athletes.

Having been on ‘Podium Potential’ level funding for 2014-15, McColgan was among those left without support nine months out from the Rio Games. The London 2012 Olympic steeplechaser, who had a top 10 finish at the 2013 World Championships, was unable to compete in 2015 following an ankle injury which required surgery.

“Always nice to get booted off funding with 277 days to go until Rio 2016,” she wrote on Twitter.

“One injury from being a clean, hard-working athlete and support is cut.”

Sprint hurdler Clarke and 2009 world 1500m silver medallist England were removed from ‘Podium’ support, while like McColgan, European cross-country champion Steel had been on the ‘Podium Potential’ list last year but does not maintain her funding.

Double Paralympic sprint silver medallist and Commonwealth T12 100m champion Libby Clegg is also without support ahead of the Rio Paralympics, having been removed from the ‘Podium’ list.

James Dasaolu and Perri Shakes-Drayton have moved from top-level support to relay funding.

“2015 was an excellent year for the British Athletics teams at both the IAAF and IPC World Championships, in Beijing and Doha respectively, and I am confident those we have invited on to the 2015-16 WCPP will build on the foundations and successes achieved over the last 12 months,” said British Athletics performance director Neil Black.

“Our immediate focus is firmly on medals next year in Rio 2016, followed by London 2017 when we will host both the IAAF and IPC World Athletics Championships. From there, the attention shifts to Tokyo 2020. Our WCPP selections absolutely reflect that focus and all the athletes selected will be expected to fulfil tough performance criteria.”

Speaking after the announcement, Black described the decisions as having been “incredibly tough”, reiterating how “the primary focus and target had to be on those people most likely realistically to win medals in Rio.”

On how difficult it had been to make her WCPP selection decisions, Paralympic head coach Paula Dunn commented: “It was tough but I think it should be tough.

“You’re talking about world class sport at the highest level and it shouldn’t be easy to get there.

“It is competitive but that’s the way that it should be and that’s the way I like it.”

On Clegg not retaining her place on the programme, Dunn added: “She just didn’t fulfil the conditions of her performance target that we agreed this time last year.

“We sat down and agreed what she needed to achieve in 2015 to show that she’s a realistic medallist for 2016 and unfortunately she didn’t achieve those targets through the season.”

Athletes supported through the World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) 2015-16

(Coach in brackets)


Olympic (21)
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie); Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson); Jessica Ennis-Hill (Toni Minichiello); Mohamed Farah (Alberto Salazar); Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge); Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed); Dai Greene (Benke Blomkvist); Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson); Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills); Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes); Laura Muir (Andy Young); Christine Ohuruogu (Christine Bowmaker); Andrew Osagie; Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider); Andy Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold); Shara Proctor (Rana Reider); Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo); William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz); Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider); Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson); Laura Weightman (Steve Cram)

Paralympic (25)
Hollie Arnold (Anthony Hughes); Paul Blake (Rob Ellchuk); Daniel Bramall (Rick Hoskins); Jonathan Broom-Edwards (Fuzz Ahmed); Mickey Bushell (Jenny Archer); Joanna Butterfield (Phil Peat/Shona Malcolm); Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks); Kadeena Cox (Brian Scobie); Aled Davies (Ryan Spencer-Jones); Kyron Duke (Anthony Hughes); Toby Gold (Jenny Archer); Dan Greaves (John Godina); Sophie Hahn (Joe McDonnell); Georgina Hermitage (Paul MacGregor); Abbie Hunnisett (Mark Hunnisett/Camilla Thrush); Sophie Kamlish (Rob Ellchuk); Maria Lyle (Tabo Huntley); Dean Miller (Bud Baldaro); Stephen Miller (Ros Miller); Stephen Osborne (Jenni Banks); Melissa Nicholls (Job King); Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge); Stefanie Reid (Aston Moore); Richard Whitehead (Keith Antoine); Bethany Woodward (Lee Doran)


Olympic (29)
Kate Avery (Tony Simmons); Chris Baker (Sharon Heveran); Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin); Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake); Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh); Lucy Bryan (Charles Preston); Ashley Bryant (Aston Moore); Mark Dry (Chris Black); Tom Farrell (Mark Rowland); Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin); Emelia Gorecka (Mick Woods); Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg); Adam Hague (Trevor Fox); Lucy Hatton (Jerzy Maciukiewicz); Jessica Judd (George Gandy); Chris Kandu (Fuzz Ahmed); Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake); Kyle Langford (George Harrison); Nick Miller (Tore Gustafsson); Chris O’Hare (Terrence Mahon); David Omoregie (Benke Blomkvist); Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Ayo Falola); Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed); Shona Richards (Marina Armstrong); Jazmin Sawyers (Alan Lerwill); Allan Smith (Bryan Roy); David Smith (Fuzz Ahmed); Serita Solomon (Michelle Bovell); Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman)

Paralympic (27)
Kare Adenegan (Job King); Joshua Bain (Paul Welch); Samantha Bowen (Anthony Hughes); Shaun Burrows (Joe McDonnell); Richard Chiassaro (Jenni Banks); Sabrina Fortune (Ian Robinson); Kylie Grimes (Phil Peat); Claire Harvey (Shelley Holroyd); David Henson (Roger Keller); Jordan Howe (Keith Antoine); Moatez Jomni (Jenny Archer); Jade Jones (Ian Thompson/Tanni Grey-Thompson); Rhys Jones; Samantha Kinghorn (Ian Mirfin); Simon Lawson (Ian Thompson); Polly Maton (Colin Baross); Erin McBride (Robert Roberts); Holly Neill (Andrew Roda); Georgina Oliver (Peter Wyman); Derek Rae (Ron Morrison); Ben Rowlings (Job King); Sam Ruddock (Jim Edwards); Zachary Shaw (Peter Gifford); Will Smith (Jenny Archer) Laura Sugar (Femi Akinsanya); Isaac Towers (Peter Wyman); Bradley Wigley (Jane Coia)


Men’s 4x100m (7)
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist); James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge); Ojie Edoburun (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo); James Ellington (Linford Christie); Richard Kilty; Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins); Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo)

Plus individually funded athletes:
Adam Gemili (Steve Fudge); Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills)

Men’s 4x400m (7)
Jarryd Dunn (Keith Holt); Jack Green (Loren Seagrave); Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley); Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider); Conrad Williams (Lloyd Cowan); Delano Williams (Neil Harrison); Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams)

Women’s 4x100m (8)
Louise Bloor (Toni Minichiello); Desiree Henry (Rana Reider); Shannon Hylton (John Blackie); Daryll Neita (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo); Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka); Asha Philip (Steve Fudge); Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan); Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker)

Plus individually funded athletes:
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie)

Women’s 4x400m (8)
Margaret Adeoye (Linford Christie); Seren Bundy-Davies (Stephen Ball); Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold); Kelly Massey (Stephen Ball); Kirsten McAslan (Trevor Painter); Laviai Nielsen (Frank Adams); Anyika Onuora (Rana Reider); Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah)

Plus individually funded athletes:
Christine Ohuruogu (Christine Bowmaker)

Paralympic (1)
Olivia Breen (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo)

» See the November 12 edition of AW magazine for more on the 2015-16 World Class Performance Programme