More Sites
NRL Rnd 20 Scores & stats AFL Rnd 18 Scores & stats Comm Games Medal tally Comm Games Full schedule
Search
Australia down but not out: Olympic chief
By Doug Conway, AAP Senior Correspondent
22:11 AEST Sat Aug 4 2012

The Olympic "Ashes" are all but lost to Britain. New Zealand has won three times as many gold medals. The swimmers have turned in their worst performance in 20 years. There's not one individual champion in the pool for the first time in 36 years. Yet Australian officials still say they are optimistic of a top five finish.

At least they are not blaming a lack of money.

"We are not in any way, shape or form bleating about a lack of funding," said Australian deputy chef de mission Kitty Chiller after a day of more silver and bronze left Australia in 19th position on the medals table.

The trend continued as Erin Densham won bronze with a stirring effort in the women's triathlon won in a gripping photo finish by Swiss Nicola Spirig, and Drew Ginn's latest Oarsome Foursome had to be content with silver behind arch rivals Great Britain.

"We are not saying we have been out-spent," said Chiller. "We are happy with the money we have been given from the federal government in the past four years. It has been a record for high performance sport."

Chiller said some sports would need to look at how they had spent that money.

"Have they used it in the most appropriate way? What are other countries doing in terms of sports medicine, sports science, sports psychology, whatever it is that it not getting us across the line?"

She cited the example of France winning four gold medals in swimming, as many as they had won before in a century of the modern Games.

"What are European countries doing that we are not?"

"But money is not the answer," she stressed. "It is not an excuse."

Australia's team in London is producing as many serious contenders as ever, but they are not quite making it to the pinnacle, claiming just one gold medal - to the women's 100m freestyle relay team on day one - but 10 silver, six bronze and an additional 14 fourth and fifth places.

Just as painful is the loss of titles to host nation Great Britain, which shows every sign of swamping Australia in their friendly rivalry.

The British four struck another telling blow at the rowing regatta on Saturday, building on cyclist Victoria Pendleton's triumph in the women's keirin the previous night.

Pendleton relegated longtime foe and world champion Anna Meares to fifth spot.

Chiller and team chief Nick Green were both at the velodrome to watch it, and had a pow-wow later over dinner.

"We were feeling a little bit down and disappointed," she admitted. "And then both at the same time we stood up and said we need to show positive and strong leadership.

"We have fantastic athletes out there who are still to compete. We're not panicking or worried. Sure, there's a few medals we've missed out on, but there's a lot still to come."

She maintained that a top five finish was "still a mathematical possibility", with high hopes in sailing, sprint canoeing, BMX, track and field, women's basketball, men's hockey and women's water polo.

"But certainly the results to date haven't been what we would have expected or hoped for, given previous history," she conceded.

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