BRITAIN’S fastest man since Olympic champion Linford Christie has vowed to prove the doubters wrong after being stripped of his lottery funding.
James Dasaolu, who won the European 100m crown in 2014, is the most high-profile casualty of the lottery funding programme in the run up to next summer’s World Championships which will be staged at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Other notable names names missing out is former world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene, who has been plagued with injuries in recent seasons and failed to make the British team for last year’s World Championships.
Olympic 1,500m runner Laura Weightman, who has been coached by middle distance legend Steve Cram, is another casualty.
But Dasaolu will not even be handed relay lottery funding let alone individual support having failed to get beyond the 100m semi-finals in Rio and then picking up an injury which meant he could not be involved in the 4x100m when the team spectacularly failed to medal despite getting the baton round.
At the world championships in Beijing last summer he SLOWED down in the semi-finals and missed out on the showdown but was then told he could still get funding ahead of Rio if he worked with the 4x100m relay squad in a bid to help salvage his career.
The funding is around £25,000 a year but most athletes value the vital medical back-up which comes with it.
The 29-year-old became the second-fastest Briton over 100m when he ran 9.91 seconds in 2013 but has since struggled with his fragile body often failing to even make it through rounds, which is why the lack of funding may hit him harder with no back-up.
But Dasaolu insisted last night that he was determined to prove the doubters wrong having got a new coach in Lloyd Cowan who helped Christine Ohuruogu to Olympic 400m gold in 2008 as well as two world titles.
He said: “I am obviously disappointed to not be on funding for the relay squad, but I have been in this position before in 2012 – and I went in to have a good season and made the Olympic team.
“It has not sunk in properly but I am as focused as ever having moved to be coached by Lloyd in London.”
British performance director Neil Black said: “There is no need for any scapegoat for what happened with the relay team in Rio. It’s about looking to the future, it’s about progression and relay funding is not a safety net for athletes.
“It doesn’t make me tear my hair out that big things were expected of him and for whatever reason he can’t get it together at the moment.
“There are lots of athletes who have huge potential, who make great progress but this programme has an emphasis on winning medals at the Olympics and the Paralympics.
“That’s its primary goal. This year in particular, there’s an interest in the World Championships and the IPC worlds at London 2017.
“That’s what we’ve got to focus on. There are always going to be circumstances where there are athletes who have had brilliant performances in the past, shown lots of potential and then for various reasons, they haven’t progressed forwards.
“Sometimes there are implications for that.”
Ohurougu will herself no longer get top-level podium funding but the 32 year-old will receive the SAME amount of funding as part of the 4x400m relay squad who won Olympicn bronze in Rio.
Olympic 2012 heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, who retired last month after winning silver in Rio, has also dropped off the funding list.
Those who feel they were wrongly overlooked can appeal.
Black also confirmed that sprinter Adam Gemili and heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson are still searching for new coaches.
KJT, who failed to get on the podium in Rio, has been linked with Toni Minichiello now his work with Jessica Ennis-Hill has ended.
But he insisted: “Clearly Adam and Katarina have decided they both want to change coaches. As you know, it’s a very difficult thing finding a coach who’s got the right background, skillset, environment, personality and the chemistry between the athlete and coach has to be exceptional.
“We are working with both Adam and Katarina to explore their options.
“We’re supporting them and we hope that they will find a coach who matches all those criteria I’ve just listed and that they make good decisions as soon as they can.
“Katarina definitely wants to carry on with multi-events. There’s no pressure.
“The crucial thing is making the right decision. That’s what she’s doing. She’s not allowing other things to pressure her.
“We’re just working with them to explore all options and we encourage them to look at every coach who would be perceived as being a coach who has or can coach athletes at their level.”
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