World bouldering champion Shauna Coxsey in action. Photo: Eddie Fowke/IFSC

World bouldering champion Shauna Coxsey in action. Photo: Eddie Fowke/IFSC

Britain’s top climbers will have to wait another year to find out how much funding they will receive in their quest for medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

UK Sport, which determines how much individual sports will receive for their Olympic programmes, announced up to £345m will be spent on a range of activities, but has delayed announcing figures on six ‘new’ sports.

The British Mountaineering Council, which represents climbers in England and Wales, said UK Sport had indicated there had been a reduction in lottery income, but the Government has committed to underwriting any shortfall, allowing the same investment for Great Britain in Olympic sport as the Rio games this year.

The funding body said investment in the new sports, such as climbing, would be determined after it examined their medal potential. The BMC said: “UK Sport have confirmed that they deemed the GB climbing team’s medal target realistic which hopefully means an investment award in our sport will be forthcoming towards the end of 2017.”

Rowing’s 100 athletes are the winners in the financial tables, with more than £32m funding, followed by athletics which will receive more than £27m. Sailing, cycling and swimming are also well funded, and canoeing will get £19m for its 50 Olympics participants.

Rob Adie, BMC competitions officer, said: “The BMC has assembled a very talented pool of young climbers supported by an incredible set of results from the 2016 competition season, which was submitted to UK Sport in October together with our medal targets for the 2020 games.

“UK Sport has just confirmed to us that they agree with the medal potential of our climbers and think that our medal target is realistic. It’s fantastic news to have UK Sport’s confidence in our team’s abilities.

“The qualification, format and rules will be clarified by the International Federation of Sports Climbing in March. We will then be in a much better position to ensure we get the adequate support in place for our athletes in this very important year of the Olympic cycle.

“We will be working with UK Sport in early 2017 to develop our strategy for our world class programme and get our athletes on the road to Tokyo.”

Shauna Coxsey, who won the women’s bouldering world cup earlier this year, told Sky News: “If athletes and the BMC work well together, we’ll go to the Olympics, make a big difference to our sport in the UK, and reach more people with our sport.

“That’s definitely a good thing.”

The BMC said it looks forward to working with UK Sport to nurture British climbing’s future talent, while keeping the focus on its core work of access, conservation and the outdoors.

“We will continue to promote the interests of walkers, climbers, and mountaineers, and ensure the countryside and crags are maintained and accessible to all,” it added.

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