LONDON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Public expectations of medals for Britain's Olympic team have sunk as low as a forecast of none at all, The Independent reported Tuesday.
The pessimism was reflected in the recent observation by Dave Moorcroft, the chief executive of U.K. Athletics, that British athletes could win between six and no medals in Athens.
"The English football team had 'won' Euro 2004 before they lost it -- the athletics team have 'lost' the Olympics before they have even started," Moorcroft said.
Sprinter Paula Radcliffe is under major pressure, given the absence of any other championship contenders. Teammates such as Kelly Holmes, Chris Rawlinson, Phillips Idowu and, perhaps, Kelly Sotherton will travel more in reasonable hope than firm expectation.
An extra chill has been added to the air by Britain's failure last month to earn a single medal at the World Junior Championships in Grossetto, something a national team has not done at a major event since 1972.