Great Britain v SerbiaUK Sport have, in a bizarre move, set British Basketball a 2013 target of world championship qualification, for both their men and women, in what could signal a major threat to their hopes of retaining funding up to Rio 2016.

Effectively, the women have already failed in their mission, even before the announcement was made on Friday. Although Great Britain attained what will be their best-ever placing of ninth at EuroBasket in France, they came up short of the top six finish required for entry to the 2014 World Championship for Women in Turkey.

While the men would have to come in the top six at EuroBasket in Slovenia in September to guarantee their place in next year’s World Cup in Spain, an unlikely prospect based on previous performances.

British Basketball has already been put on a one-year funding deal, having originally been left off the list for Lottery backing for 2013.

But UK Sport’s chief executive Liz Nicholl believes that their get-tough strategy can ensure a legacy from London 2012 can be delivered.

“We have, of course, been through some recalibration post-London, but I have not detected any sense of complacency or loss of momentum within the sports,” she said.

“We invest more than just money in our sports and in order to realise our aim of winning more medals in Rio, while building a stronger more sustainable system, we must continue to assess our system and innovate to remain cutting edge.“

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