Australia can still be Olympic top five, says Green

By Paul Mulvey,

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    One hundred days before the Olympic Games, team chief Nick Green still believes Australia can stay in the top five on the medals table, as long as the swimmers convert silver to gold.

    A shift in power back to Great Britain at this month’s track cycling world championships could result in Australia slipping from a forecast fourth placing in London with 15 gold to as low as eighth and 12 gold.

    But Green was hoping the swimmers could upgrade some of the 10 silver medals they won at last year’s world championships to gold in London to keep Australia among the elite.

    “Cycling’s one event, but we have got other disciplines we expect will win more medals than we did at world championships,” Green said.

    “Swimming’s a good example. We won a bucket load of silvers at the world championships and only two gold. Ideally the team can turn those silvers into gold.

    “Although the cycling may level itself out, we anticipate we can make some gains in other sports at the same time.

    “Top five, absolutely. We don’t need to readjust that. I think top five is the respectful and rightful position for Australia to aspire to.”

    The Australian Olympic Committee’s benchmarking figures late last year had Australia winning 15 gold to Britain’s 14.

    Based on world championship or equivalent events for 2011, the figures included the six gold won by Australia and the one claimed by Britain in Olympic events at last year’s track cycling world championships.

    But Britain won five of the 10 Olympic events at the Melbourne world titles a fortnight ago, while Australia took out three, swinging the predicted gold medal haul in London to 18 for Britain and 12 to Australia.

    With Wednesday marking 100 days until the July 27 opening ceremony, Green said athletes are in the phase of finding that minuscule extra that could prove the difference between gold and silver.

    “From the athletes’ point of view, 100 days to go really signifies the fine-tuning process,” Green said.

    “Clearly the athletes can make improvements although, in the last 100 days, the improvements are only in the small percentiles – half per cent, one per cent, two per cent.

    “They know that improvement is vital because it could be the difference between getting in the final or not or on the podium or not.”

    With only 77 athletes of the expected team of around 400 selected so far, many others are still chasing qualification.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • April 18th 2012 @ 5:53pm
      Tom callaghan said | April 18th 2012 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

      Paul,
      One of the problems with Green’s analysis is that Great Britain ,in addition to having more gold medal prospects to Australia also has more -many more prospective silver medalists who just might convert those into gold. they have at least as much chance of doing so as Australia’s swimmers have of converting silver to gold.

    • April 23rd 2012 @ 4:55pm
      Republican said | April 23rd 2012 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

      We will rely on our swimmers as usual to keep us puching above our proverbial weight, however our national sport, swimming, is slipping in status here at home. Combine this with the fact that much of the rest of the world has caught up – and indeed overtaken us with alot of help from the Aussie coaches spread throughout the world, we are going to struggle in London as a team.

      Our Swim Team wont pick up a single gold in my opinion, while the team as a whole, will finish well below the top five nations,

      In short we will look ordinary in respect of the medal tally but perform admirably on a per cap basis.

      • May 8th 2012 @ 4:52am
        Tom callaghan said | May 8th 2012 @ 4:52am | ! Report

        Very judicious comment republican. Spot on.

    • May 8th 2012 @ 2:04am
      SAM said | May 8th 2012 @ 2:04am | ! Report

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