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Aussie revival may take eight years: Green
By Steve Larkin
20:45 AEST Tue Aug 7 2012

Australia could take eight years to revive its flagging Olympic fortunes, team boss Nick Green says.

A day after sailor Tom Slingsby doubled Australia's gold medal tally at the London Games, Green warned that those expecting a quick fix will be disappointed.

Slingsby's triumph in Laser class on Monday delivered Australia a second gold medal to accompany 12 silver and eight bronze medals.

But the 19th position on the medal table will prompt extensive post-Games reviews, centred on funding and coaching.

"Games go in cycles," Green said on Tuesday.

"And sometimes they take four, sometimes eight years, to implement a strategy which then has rewards at the end of it.

"We know that ... and we will do what we can and implement the right strategies to ensure that we are in a position where we feel we rightfully belong - and that is up in the top five of the medal table."

Central to the recovery plan will be how to best deploy funding and also how to lure Australian coaches back.

Some 14 gold medals have been won in London by foreign athletes coached by Australians.

"How do we have that knowledge that is now abroad, how can we bring it back to Australia and assist the Australian team?," Green said.

"And that is a strategy we will look at, the (Australian) Sports Commission will do that, and the individual sports will look at as well."

Slingsby's victory was the first individual gold medal for an Australian in London, with the other gold going to the women's swimming 4x100m freestyle relay team.

The sailor, dubbed the Wind Whisperer, said the gold medal was redemption after he entered the 2008 Beijing Games as world champion but finished 22nd.

"If I didn't do well at these Olympics I'd definitely hang up the shoes," he said.

Australia's only other medal on day 10 of the Games was a bronze at the velodrome, claimed by Shane Perkins in the men's sprint.

Shooter Michael Diamond joined a list of Australians shattered to finish out of the medals.

The trap shooter led with just five shots remaining, but missed twice in a row - he then lost a sudden death bronze medal shoot-off.

"I really can't describe in words how nervous and how nerve wracking it is out there," said Diamond, who vowed to seek a third Olympic gold at the 2016 Rio Games.

Australia's women's hockey team didn't make the semi-finals while runner Steve Solomon became the first Australian man in 24 years to race in an Olympic 400m final.

Solomon finished last in the final but the 19-year-old said each race in his Olympic debut had given him a "book" of experience.

Making the final also justified his selection, despite not reaching the automatic qualifying time pre-London - an inclusion blasted by fellow 400m relay runner John Steffensen.

But Solomon and the outspoken Steffensen have settled their differences ahead up of teaming in the 4x400m relay starting Thursday.

"There is no conflict between John and I," Solomon said on Tuesday.

"Everyone is their own individual and are entitled to their own opinions.

"Me personally, I probably wouldn't have gone the same path that John did.

"But the past is in the past ... John's comments are certainly not lingering in anyone's minds."

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