LONDON (AFP) The British team at the 2012 London Olympics will number at least 500 athletes, the British Olympic Association (BOA) announced on Wednesday. A team that big would represent the largest for Britain in more than a century, and would be more than 50 percent bigger than the team that won 47 medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, including 19 gold. There is no greater sporting event in the world than the Olympic Games and, as the host nation, we know that the selection of the athletes who will have the honour of representing Team GB will be of great interest to the British public, said BOA chairman Colin Moynihan. We wont be taking any passengers with us and we will set exacting standards that ensure the athletes who represent Team GB are truly the best of British. The BOA will release its set of qualification criteria shortly after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international federations release qualification standards for each sport. Team GB comprised 676 athletes at the 1908 Olympic Games in London, and 375 at the 1948 Games held in the same city. In 2008, the team took 311 athletes to the Olympic Games in Beijing. BOA chief executive Andy Hunt added: This is an important step on the road to 2012. Its over a hundred years since we sent a team of this size to an Olympic Games and the sporting world looked very different in 1908. The challenge were setting for British Olympic sport is to match our own ambitions - this is a once in a generation opportunity for us all and we want to produce the performances that will inspire our country and reflect the ideals of the Olympic Movement.