Fear of losing place among top two at London 2012 keeps me awake at night admits USOC chief

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Source: www.insidethegames.biz

By: Tom Degun

August 1 - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) chief of sport performance Alan Ashley has admitted that Amercia could struggle to maintain their top two position on the medal table at London 2012 due to the growing investment from other nation's into elite sport.

He admitted that he is concerned about missing out on a top two finish at London 2012 after the US finished second behind hosts China at Beijing 2008 and ahead of third-placed Russia and fourth-placed Great Britain.

"It's an interesting landscape out there," said Ashley.

"Some of these other nations are pouring enormous resources into this.

"Governments are behind them and they can certainly catch is in the medal table.

"They're very serious contenders and we need to be looking over our shoulders at the Olympics in London.

"That does keep me up at night sometimes."

America won 110 medals in Beijing - more than any other country - but finished below China in the overall table because the host nation claimed 51 golds compared to the US 36.

Steve Roush, who held Ashley's position at USOC through 2008, agreed with the assessment suggesting American dominance at the Olympic Games could be under threat.

"The amount of investment going on by the top 15 or 20 National Olympic Committees, the amount they've increased, it's startling," said Roush, who now is a senior consultant for TSE Consulting who help countries around the world build up their Olympic programmes.

"Brazil [who are hosting Olympics and Paralympics in Rio in 2016] is an example of a new country in the hunt that will be taking medals away from other countries.

"They'll try to pick away and they'll have a chance at it because of the fact they're doing it in a focused way.

"Basically, if your investment stays mainly flat, your performance is going down.

"You've got to sink far more money into it just to stay even."

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