Weightlifting: Michaela Breeze criticises funding cut

Michaela Breeze
Michaela Breeze won weightlifting gold at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games

Welsh Commonwealth gold medallist Michaela Breeze says UK Sport's the decision to cut weightlifting's government funding is "criminal".

Weightlifting is among five sports to lose all funding ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is appealing against the decision.

Weightlifting could lose £1.7 million of funding.

"The decision to cut weightlifting is very narrow minded and a little bit ignorant," said Breeze.

"I don't know who's expecting results at the click of a finger, but it simple doesn't happen, it takes time to make changes."

Badminton, archery, fencing and wheelchair rugby have also missed out with UK Sport having said it is prioritising sports with the strongest medal potential for Tokyo.

Cycling - which brought Team GB 12 medals in Rio - has had its funding cut by more than £4m to £25.98m.

Breeze came out of retirement to win bronze in the -58kg category at the 2014 Glasgow Games for Wales.

She told BBC Wales Sport: "We're at the stage where these athletes are developing and we're knocking on the door for international success for the podiums for the medals and now they're threatening to cut that funding.

"Well, that funding's gone a long way to making big developments in the sport.

"We could risk losing a lot of lifters across the board if these cuts go ahead.

"If you look back to Athens in 2004 I was really the only female lifter doing anything whereas now we've got numerous weightlifters competing at the national stage, at Europeans, at world level across the age ranges.

"The bulk of our talent is in the junior ranks at the moment and to cut their funding right now would be absolutely criminal and completely narrow-minded and short sighted with no vision for the future development of the sport."

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