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Rio Olympics: Tokyo can be even better than Rio, says UK Sport chief

By Matt Slater

Team GB's athletes have made "sporting history" at Rio 2016, but their bosses believe Tokyo 2020 could be even better.

The team arrived in Brazil with the target of winning 48 medals to make Rio 2016 Britain's best ever 'away' Games, but will end up with 67 medals - two more than London's remarkable haul - and second in the medal table ahead of China.

"We're making sporting history - 67 medals, nearly 130 medallists, across 19 sports," said UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl.

British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney agreed with Nicholl and praised the teamwork and "20 years of investment" that have combined to produce "this outstanding performance". "Since National Lottery funding started in 1997, we have had five consecutive (summer) Olympic Games of medal growth - no other country has come close to that," he Sweeney.

It is an oft-repeated statistic that Team GB finished 36th in the medal table, with just one gold, at Atlanta in 1996. A year later, UK Sport was created to allocate National Lottery and public funding to elite Olympic and Paralympic sport.

Super-heavyweight Joe Joyce's silver medal was the 700th won by Great Britain in Olympics and Paralympics since lottery funding started and Nicholl believes there is no reason to think Rio is as good as it will get.

Explaining that 40% of the £275m UK Sport gave to sports in the Olympic summer programme over the last four years is actually earmarked for Tokyo on a rolling eight-year investment plan, she added: "We could win more medals in Tokyo."

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