A group of 67 athletes have been offered membership to join the British Athletics Olympic World Class Programme (WCP) for 2021/22.
The WCP is UK Sport’s National Lottery funded initiative supporting the delivery of success at named milestone targets, namely outdoor track World and European Championships and Olympics Games. The WCP is split into levels reflecting the actual and potential performance levels of athletes: Podium, Podium Potential and Confirmation.
Joining the programme are 22 athletes, including Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson who is added at Podium level. The European Indoor 800m champion graduates from the British Athletics Futures Academy Programme to the WCP.
Tokyo 1500m bronze medallist, Josh Kerr, moves up to podium level, as do Andrew Pozzi, Jemma Reekie and Jazmin Sawyers. After her seventh-place finish in the women’s 800m at the Olympic Games, Alex Bell is also offered Podium membership.
Olympic finalists Lizzie Bird, Jake Heyward and Marc Scott are among the athletes to be offered membership at Podium Potential level. After improving their personal bests during 2021, high jumper Emily Borthwick and shot putter Scott Lincoln also join the programme.
A new Confirmation level has been added to the World Class Programme. The Athlete Performance Awards (APAs) at this level are designed to support athletes in their first 1-2 years on the World Class Programme and provide a period through which the potential of the athlete is explored and confirmed.
Among the first athletes to benefit from this level are European indoor finalist Ellie Baker and European U23 medallists’ Holly Mills and Thomas Randolph.
The men’s 4x400m relay squad will be supported via development opportunities such as relay camps which will run in parallel to the World Class Programme to support several developing athletes in this event.
As per previous years, the nomination of Athlete Performance Awards (APA) for athletes is subject to UK Sport ratification and a signed athlete agreement between the athlete and UKA.
The Paralympic World Class Programme and Futures Academy Programme will be announced in due course.
Performance Director, Sara Symington, said, “As we start the Paris cycle, and longer-term Los Angeles 2028, we made a number of informed decisions in regard to the World Class Programme membership that aligns with our strategic priorities. We will work closely with the 67 athlete and coach pairings that we are offering membership to and will look to add support and value in their journey via their individual athlete plan (IAP).
“The selection process is robust and lengthy, and we use a lot of data which is complemented by the knowledge of our event leads to inform the decision-making process. We have given careful consideration to those athletes who meet the selection criteria and performance matrix which align to the future ambitions of the World Class Programme.
“In relation to the men’s 4x400m relay athletes we are taking an approach which allows more flexibility and look to support the development of several athletes during this cycle. This support will be offered via camps and training opportunities to a cohort of eligible athletes so that we can build the team towards the longer-term targets of Paris and LA.”
The British Athletics Olympic World Class Programme Athletes
Olympic Podium (17)
Olympic Podium Potential (26)
Naomi Metzger (née Ogbeta)
Olympic Relays (16)
Olympic Confirmation Level (8)