Huddersfield Olympic star Marcus Ellis fears for the future after UK Sport’s decision to remove its funding from badminton.
Indeed, Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy says the decision could threaten the careers of players like Ellis and fellow Rio bronze medalist Chris Langridge from next April.
Christy, who confirmed the national governing body would appeal, said the “catastrophic” change risks “closing down the British badminton programme”.
UK Sport has also stopped funding archery, fencing, wheelchair rugby and weightlifting for the Tokyo 2020 cycle.
Of the four Olympic sports and one Paralympic sport to lose all funding, only badminton – which received £5.74m in the last cycle – delivered a medal during the summer.
Ellis and Chris Langridge won bronze in the men’s doubles, ensuring badminton met its UK Sport target of one medal.
Following the announcement funding would cease, Ellis tweeted: “I won a bronze medal in Rio three months ago and my sport has had all funding cut to nothing. What’s going on!”
Partner Langridge said: “I am devastated by the news fro UK Sport. I gave everything at the Olympics for my sport and Britain and you take all our funding.”
Ellis added it made all the effort and success feel “almost worthless” and the decision was a devastating slap in the face.
Chief exec Christy said: “Those two athletes, on the basis of this decision, could have their careers ended from April 1 next year. What kind of example does that set?
“To not have the opportunity to improve on Rio and have it all taken off us is going to take several weeks to understand.
“The decision presents a catastrophic impact on the sport. We have to appeal. We’re now going to have youngsters seriously thinking ‘what would I go into a sport like badminton for if I can’t achieve my Olympic dreams?’”
UK Sport CEO Liz Nicholl said decisions on the amount of money each sport received were made “to protect and enhance the medal potential”.
Nicholl added: “With each of the sports affected we have a commitment to see their transition out of funding is supported.
“They have got medal potential, they have progressed as sports, but we cannot reach to funding them for Tokyo. Conversations are going on with those sports.”
UK Sport allocates money raised through the National Lottery and government contributions.
It has spread £345m across 31 Olympic and Paralympic sports for Tokyo 2020, a fall of £2m from Rio 2016.
Great Britain won 67 Olympic medals in Rio, and 147 at the Paralympics.
UK Sport has set targets of 51-85 Olympic medals and 115-162 Paralympic medals for Tokyo.