Coe wants emphasis on glory - not total medal count

Double Olympic gold medal winner and London 2012 Organising Committee Chairman, Lord Sebastian Coe, has told British athletes not to worry too much how their performance affects the overall medal count and to concentrate on striving for glory, the AFP reported.

Earlier this week, UK Sport set a target of 35 medals and eighth place in the medal table, but Coe thinks focusing on medal counts misses the bigger picture of inspiring future Olympic competitors.

"I don't get excited about things like that. I don't think sport is about medal tables. It is really important that we set goals and aspirations for ourselves, but I think the British team wants big moments. Those big moments are more important than where a team finished in a medal table.

"From Athens people don't remember if the British team finished 10th, 15th or 20th. What they do remember is Kelly Holmes, the do remember Matthew Pinsent and the guys, they do remember Chris Hoy and the blonds in the boat.

"It is really important to have those big moments. The real target of a medal is to put governing bodies and organisers under pressure, because really only the target of the winning only arrives when you have that medal. When you have that medal the target should be how many more people do you get in that sport on the back of that medal.

"It should be about the big moments, not where you finish in the medal table," Coe said.

In recent years rowing, cycling and sailing have netted big medal gains for the British team and Coe can see these sports leading the way yet again, though he expects British boxing to weigh in with a number of successes after eight boxers qualified for the event.

"Clearly, rowing is a very, very strong sport for us. Clearly cycling is as well and we've always had really strong sailing teams. We've got a very good crop of British boxers, probably the golden crop of British boxing. They're probably the best boxing team for the last four or five editions. So they will provide us with big moments," Coe forecast.

There are still worries over the health of the British track and field team. In the 2007 World Championships in 2007 only 400m runner Christine Ohuruogu won gold, but Coe does take solace from the team being in a similar position four years ago before being surprised by the success of Holmes and the 4x100m relay team.

"The team is a young team, but we have a few seasoned campaigners in there. People like Kelly Sotherton, Paula Radcliffe and I can't think of anyone I would rather see come back from Beijing with a medal, a gold medal. It's going to be a tough year for UK athletes. But there are people capable of raising their game.

"Phillips Idowu in the triple jump is really capable of winning a gold medal. Chris Tomlinson is perfectly capable of jumping into an Olympic medal. We have relay teams, we have Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders is coming along nicely," said Coe.

With the focus moving to London 2012 once Beijing is over, Coe says they are well set to reach its financial targets and to have all the structures in place 12 months before the opening ceremony on July 27.

"We're in good shape. We've started the construction on the Olympic stadium a few months early. We working on what we call the big five - the village, the aquatic centre, the velopark and the media centres are important. The plan is to get them delivered to the organising committee a year out so we can properly test them.

"Yesterday we continued to make good progress to get business partners. We signed with British Petroleum. I can't tell you the figure, but I can tell you that we set ourselves a target of two billion pounds (four billion dollars) from the private sector and we've reached about 680million pounds raised by local sponsors, so with four years to go, we're over halfway. But we're not getting complacent as it is a very complicated process.

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