After performing heroics this summer, where she not only took a medal over 5000m against the mighty Kenyans at the Commonwealth Games, but also became the oldest winner of the European 10,000m title (at almost 41 years' old) , 'supermum' Jo Pavey has been excluded from Britain's World Class Performance Programme. The programme is essentially designed to assist with the preparation and (perhaps more importantly) financing for athletes (both able bodied and Paralympic) heading into the next Olympics in Rio in 2016. She does not satisfy the important criteria of being a likely medal contender at the Games , which seems logical given her age and the level of likely competition from (especially) the African continent.

Putting the harsh financial limitations clearly behind the decision aside for one moment, there will be many who witnessed her performances and were inspired to either take up the sport (or to re-double their efforts if already participating), who will find the decision a bit baffling and maybe slightly worrying. The public reaction to her achievements made her front page news in the immediate aftermath of the European Championships' victory, and was especially relevant to mothers up and down the country who attempt to juggle family life with their sporting ambitions. It is hoped that she can continue in her quest to make Rio and to do herself justice in whatever event she decides to target there, although a more realistic target over (perhaps) 10km might be top six or eight at the next Games.

Pavey is not alone in being excluded among Team GB's recent successes, as long jumper Chris Tomlinson has also lost his National Lottery funding. He has battled hard in recent seasons against injury to contend with current Olympic champion, Greg Rutherford, for the position of British number one. Rutherford has prevailed in the last twelve months as he not only set a new British record (albeit with Tomlinson voicing some reservations about the legality of the jump based on what he has seen of it) but also claimed the Commonwealth and European titles.

Tomlinson is again not deemed likely to medal in Rio (he finished sixth at London 2012), but will no doubt be determined to prove his doubters wrong over the next two years, although at 33 he is fast approaching the end of his sporting career and needs no further disruptions to his preparations to have a chance one would think .

Other leading lights have been more fortunate, with the poster 'girl' for London 2012, Jess Ennis-Hill on the comeback trail after giving birth in July, being returned to the funding fold. Double medallist (Commonwealth and European) over 800m this summer, Lynsey Sharp has been rewarded by an elevation in her rating and hence the level of support she receives. She has genuine medal chances for the next few years over the half mile distance should she continue her progress from this season, so there can be few dissenters as to her inclusion on the programme.

Eighteen athletes have so far been earmarked for Olympic relay funding as part of the programme, which gives a clear indication as to where there is a genuine expectation of Athletics' medals for Team GB come Rio. Both the men's and women's squads for 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m have had an encouraging summer, although the standard in the relays on the global stage has been improving in recent seasons as more countries have also seen the possibilities. We will wait to see if the investment by the Brits proves money well spent or not.