Search
Swim coach Nugent calls for soul searching
Steve Larkin
08:19 AEST Fri Aug 3 2012

Australian swimming needs some soul searching to plot a return to its Olympic glory days, head swim coach Leigh Nugent says.

Nugent couldn't hide his disappointment at another wash-out in the pool on Thursday night when Australia failed to claim any medal.

While Eamon Sullivan secured a swim in Friday night's 50m freestyle final, jaded teammate James Magnussen missed out.

And sprinter Melanie Schlanger admitted she mucked up her 100m final, finishing fourth in a race which angered Nugent.

The coach complained to Olympic officials about crowd noise while swimmers were on the blocks, but his protest fell on deaf ears.

While Schlanger said she didn't hear any disruption, Nugent believed Schlanger and the rest of the field were upset by crowd noise while swimmers were on the starter's blocks.

Schlanger was slow off the blocks but said she simply became the latest Australian swimmer to muck up a final by making tactical blunders.

"Fourth is something that I will just have to live with," Schlanger said.

Nugent was also bewildered by national champion Belinda Hocking's failure to join compatriot Meagen Nay in the 200m backstroke final.

"Belinda Hocking just didn't seem to have her head in it ... it comes to the moment, and drop the ball," he said.

Nugent said Australian swimming may also have dropped a collective ball, given the lean London returns so far - one gold, five silver and two bronze.

"We will have to go away and evaluate what we do," Nugent said, hinting Australian swimming was aiming at the wrong targets.

Nugent said a near-obsession with shorter events was hurting the nation's swimming program, saying more attention was needed on longer events.

"There needs to be a balancing up," he said.

"It is a concern, the 1500m and middle distance has taken a beating since Grant (Hackett) and Ian (Thorpe) and so on pulled away.

"But we have got some young guys coming on that we think have got the goods."

Nugent also retained faith in building future teams around Magnussen, who failed to make Friday night's 50m freestyle final.

"He's mentally tired," Nugent said.

"Maggy is the guy that everyone has hung on to here and he has had enormous amount of pressure on him."

But future teams will likely be without 27-year-old Sally Foster, who finished last in her 200m breaststroke final.

Butterflier Chris Wright missed out on advancing into the 100m `fly final, in the race after his girlfriend Schlanger missed a medal.

Did you like this article? Share your thoughts
SCHEDULEDAY0
27Jul
DAY1
28Jul
DAY2
29Jul
DAY3
30Jul
DAY4
31Jul
DAY5
1Aug
DAY6
2Aug
DAY7
3Aug
DAY8
4Aug
DAY9
5Aug
DAY10
6Aug
DAY11
7Aug
DAY12
8Aug
DAY13
9Aug
DAY14
10Aug
DAY15
11Aug
DAY16
12Aug
Opening Ceremony
Archery
Athletics
Badminton
Basketball
Beach Volleyball
Boxing
BMX
Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Football
Gymnastics
Handball
Hockey
Judo
Modern Pentathlon
Rowing/Canoe/Kayak
Sailing
Shooting
Swimming
Synchro
Table Tennis
Taekwondo
Tennis
Triathlon
Volleyball
Water Polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling
Closing ceremony
DAY0
27Jul
DAY1
28Jul
DAY2
29Jul
DAY3
30Jul
DAY4
31Jul
DAY5
1Aug
DAY6
2Aug
DAY7
3Aug
DAY8
4Aug
DAY9
5Aug
DAY10
6Aug
DAY11
7Aug
DAY12
8Aug
DAY13
9Aug
DAY14
10Aug
DAY15
11Aug
DAY16
12Aug
You need the latest version of Flash Player.
Enjoy the most vivid content on the web
Watch video without extra features
Interact with applications on your favourite sites
Upgrade now

You need the latest version of Flash Player.
Enjoy the most vivid content on the web
Watch video without extra features
Interact with applications on your favourite sites
Upgrade now