Redgrave: GB can hit target
July 4, 2012 19:27 pm
Five-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave has backed Team GB to meet the 48-medal target laid before them.
UK Sport, which distributes Lottery and public money to Olympic sports, have announced the intended mark of at least one more medal than the 47 won in Beijing, with a "goal" of the host nation maintaining the fourth place in the medal table achieved four years ago.
Redgrave, no stranger to the winner's podium himself after success in 1984 through to 2000, is hoping for a number north of 50, and believes the talent is there across all sports to meet expectation.
The legendary oarsman was at Loughborough on Wednesday to witness the gymnastic and volleyball teams receive their kit, and told Press Association Sport: "I think it (the UK Sport total) is very attainable.
"My gut feeling has been that it would be nice to get 50-plus so that's pretty close to it, so I would hope that we're just into the 50s. I think we will get into the 50s but it's a tough ask. We did so well in Beijing and to try and move up on that will be very difficult, especially on the gold medal tally.
"Nineteen last time was a nice number in some ways because it was still in the teens but if we can get into the 20s it sounds so much better."
The 50-year-old is familiar with performing under pressure and scrutiny having once famously reversed his decision to never row again in order to chase top billing at Sydney 2000.
He did just that, carrying the hopes of a nation with him, and he does not believe that UK Sport's announcement puts those competing under any extra pressure.
"I don't think it makes any difference to be honest," he added. "It's very much of knuckling down to what you're involved in. I was involved in the Atlanta Games where we only got one gold medal and we won that in the middle weekend.
"You knew that the team overall wasn't doing very well but we did win more silver medals than we had done for many, many years, and that's what it is - a very fine line between taking a gold or a silver or a lesser medal or a high place so it's tough."
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