Brazil raises medals target for Rio

Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 8/20/2012

Brazil will have to up its game at the Rio Olympics not just in terms of preparations for the event but also the performance of its athletes, amid plans by the country to more than double its medal count, according to its sports minister.

Aldo Rebelo said that while the country’s tally at the London games of 17 medals, three of them gold, was slightly better than the 15 expected, this would not suffice in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. “We need to put in a competitive performance in accordance with our status as host,” Mr Rebelo told the Financial Times in an interview. “We need to improve significantly (the medal count).”

In spite of having the world’s sixth-largest economy and fifth-largest population, Brazil finished 22nd in the medal table in London after investing far less than its peers in sports. Officials have previously said Brazil plans to more than triple its spending on its athletes to $700m, though it is unclear how the increased expenditure will be funded.

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