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Pearson defends Australia medal haul
Neil Harvey and Mike Osborne
22:42 AEST Mon Aug 6 2012

Sally Pearson has joined a chorus of Australian athletes defending the national team's performance at the London Olympics.

The world champion reinforced her status as favourite in the 100m hurdles with the fastest-ever Olympic heat time of 12.57 seconds on Monday then played down the dearth of Australian gold medals, saying it was "exciting in our camp at the moment".

"I think Australia's done bloody well in these Games," said Pearson.

"We've got 20 medals all up. Everyone wants a gold medal but what's wrong with silver?"

With six days of competition remaining, sporting powerhouse Australia sat a lowly 24th in the medals table -- below the likes of Kazakhstan and North Korea -- with just one gold but 12 silver among 20 medals overall, having targeted a top five spot before the Games.

Pearson joined long jump silver medallist Mitchell Watt and swimming relay gold medal winner Cate Campbell who had already spoken out in defence of the team's effort.

"People need to start understanding that it's not easy to win an Olympic gold medal and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a silver medal," said Watt, who suggested Australian media covering the Games need to "wake up".

Campbell indicated media analysis of Australia's less than stellar swimming campaign had stung athletes.

"I think it's maybe almost a little bit hurtful to say we've been underperforming because we go out there and pour our heart and soul into every single performance," she said.

"It's not that we haven't been performing, it's just that the world has stepped up."

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