Sophie named in podium group for 2017 season

Britain's Sophie Hitchon celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Britain's Sophie Hitchon celebrates after winning the bronze medal in the women's hammer throw final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Sophie Hitchon has been named as one of 15 athletes in British Athletics’ Olympic and Paralympic World Class Performance Programme podium group for 2016–17, as the teams focus towards home soil success at London 2017 and Tokyo 2020.

Funded by The National Lottery through UK Sport, British Athletics WCPP selection is based upon the potential to win medals at an Olympic Games (with special consideration given to the IAAF World Athletics Championships at London 2017).

British Athletics performance director Neil Black said: “2016 was an excellent year for the British Athletics teams at both the Olympics and Paralympics, winning more medals in Rio than in London 2012.

“But we are now at the start of a new Olympic and Paralympic cycle, so we need to build a team that is focused towards further success and improvement at Tokyo 2020, our selections reflect this.

“With a core group of established athletes and a large group of young and emerging talent, this is an exciting time for British Athletics.

“As ever, the athletes selected will be expected to fulfil tough performance criteria throughout the next cycle, but our immediate focus is firmly on winning medals at London.

“To have both World Championships in the UK, in the same year, is just incredible. It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for British athletes to be crowned World Champions and become World medallists on home soil, and I expect a number of those selected on this year’s WCPP to grasp that opportunity.”