July 2, 2018 / 3:43 PM / a year ago

GB Short Track disappointed by UK Sport's move to stop funding

(Reuters) - Britain’s short track speedskating fraternity expressed disappointment with UK Sport’s decision on Monday to discontinue funding for the sport in the 2022 Beijing Olympic cycle.

UK Sport, however, said the World Class Programme would receive transitional support over the next nine to 12 months working towards the 2019 ISU world championships.

“We are very disappointed by the decision, and will be focussing on supporting our athletes, staff and their families,” Stewart Laing, GB Short Track Speedskating’s performance director, said in a statement.

“We understand UK Sport have had to make a tough decision and that there is less government and National Lottery funding available across British sport of which we have been thankful to receive over the years.”

Speedskating was expected to fetch Britain two medals at the Pyeongchang Games in February but their big hope Elise Christie crashed out of two events and was disqualified from the third.

Laing said the organisation would discuss steps to develop an individual plan for the 2017 world champion.

Christie will be offered an innovative new Medal Support Plan investment given her “significant and consistent world level success” in the Pyeongchang cycle, GB Short Track added.

“I am gutted for our sport, we have a fantastic team and great successes in the past two years,” Christie said. “We’ll be working on a plan in the coming weeks, I don’t know exactly how that’ll look right now,” she added.

Michelle Draper, the CEO of the National Ice Skating Association which governs GB Short Track Speedskating said: “We are naturally disappointed with the decision.

“However as the national governing body we will continue to support and build on the amazing progress made by our athletes in this fast, exciting and growing sport.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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