ATHLETICS: Funding axe no surprise - Yamauchi

ATHLETICS: Funding axe no surprise - Yamauchi

ATHLETICS: Funding axe no surprise - Yamauchi

First published in Sport Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

OXFORD marathon runner Mara Yamauchi had no complaints about losing her National Lottery funding when UK Athletics announced their World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) for 2013.

The 39-year-old was one of three Oxfordshire athletes to have their funding axed – alongside Oxford triple jumper Nathan Douglas and Radley steeplechaser Hatti Archer.

Yamauchi dropped out of the London 2012 Olympic mara-thon with a foot injury and has struggled to compete consistently over the 26.2-mile distance in recent years.

“I was expecting to lose the funding because my performances, mainly due to injury, have not met the criteria for being kept on the programme,” said Yamauchi, who won the BUPA London 10,000 road race in May.

“I’m not going to appeal. I am grateful for the help UKA have given me over the years and there are more worthy recipients now!”

Yamauchi’s fellow marathon runner Paula Radcliffe was arguably the biggest name to lose funding in the UKA announcement.

Radcliffe said she plans to continue competing and is targeting the London Marathon in April, but Yamauchi is yet to make a decision.

“I’m undecided about carrying on – trying to decide that now,” she said.

“For the moment I am rehabbing my foot.”

Oxford’s 1,500m world silver medallist Hannah England retained her top level ‘podium’ place on the WCPP, while sprint hurdler Lawrence Clarke was promoted to a podium spot.

England said: “It’s an important support that allows me to maximise my training.

“It’s a shame to see that Hatti and Nathan have missed out on funding following injuries.

“But they are both great athletes and I’m sure they will continue to compete for places on the British team regardless of funding.”

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