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Gosper, AOC split over modest medal tally
Steve Jancetic
22:36 AEST Mon Aug 6 2012

Australia's Olympic hierarchy appears at odds over whether a drop in funding is to blame for the nation's lack of gold medal success at the London Games.

Kevin Gosper, the Australian head of the International Olympic Committee's Press Commission, claims a cut in federal government funding after the 2008 Beijing Games had meant "the difference between silver and gold."

After nine days of competition, Australia has one gold medal and 12 silvers - the lone gold coming in the 4x100m women's freestyle relay on the opening night.

Australian Olympic team chiefs countered Gosper by saying they were satisfied by the amount of money the team received, instead pointing to the way the money was being spent.

"We need to look at quality rather than quantity, and how we're spending it," Australia's deputy chef de mission Kitty Chiller said of the funding.

"Kevin is obviously here in his role with the IOC, he has obviously seen how well Team GB is going and the amount of funding that's been put in so (it's) the logical conclusion, I suppose, from his point of view.

"From our point of view and the AOC's point of view, we are happy with the amount of funding that we have been given - a record amount to high performance sport from the federal government in the last four years.

"We've seen other countries, New Zealand is a good example, who have less funding than us, still at the moment have more success in terms of gold medals than us, so it's not just a matter of money."

Gosper, in London for the Games, told the ABC Australia had suffered from an inability to finance coaches and international competition for its athletes.

"Now that really cost us," Gosper said.

"You've got to put money in there. That pays for coaches, it pays for international competition. The money is the difference between silver and gold."

Great Britain has poured large sums of money into its Olympic sports in an effort to ensure their competitiveness in London.

The move is paying dividends, as they currently sit third on the medal table.

"Actually the funding of sport has been one of the great successes," British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt told PA.

"John Major set up the Lottery in the early 1990s, and in the `96 Atlanta Games we won just one gold medal, we've already won 16 in these Games and we are only halfway through the Games.

"Other countries are now looking at the UK, and looking at our sport funding model, and seeing what they can learn."

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