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British hoops gets multi-million pound package

Published: 8:21AM Saturday March 23, 2013 Source: Reuters

British basketball will benefit from a seven million pounds (NZ$12.8 million) funding package, as it seeks to put together a team capable of challenging for a medal at the the Rio Olympics in 2016.

UK Sport, the government body responsible for funding Britain's Olympic sports, announced the figure today, having already agreed a reprieve for basketball, which originally had its funding withdrawn in December.

The funding will be on a one-year conditional basis, UK Sport said in a statement, with the full amount allocated only being released if basketball meets performance criteria.

Unlike basketball, the other big losers in UK Sport's December budget announcement - indoor volleyball, table tennis, weightlifting and wrestling - failed to earn a reprieve and will have no elite-level funding for the next four years.

Britain fielded an Olympic basketball team for the first time since 1948 at last year's London Games, losing seven of their eight matches.

UK Sport has a "no-compromise" approach to funding sports, with most money going to traditionally strong medal hopes such as cycling and rowing, while those without realistic chances of podium places get next to nothing.

It is funding 44 sports in the run-up to Rio, with the aim of improving on the 65 Olympic and 120 Paralympic medals won in London.