Australian gold medallist Cate Campbell defends squad against criticism
LONDON, UK (AUGUST 5, 2012) (REUTERS) -Australian Olympians fed up with criticism and persistent media questioning about the squad's lack of gold medals told a news conference on Sunday (August 5) that there's nothing wrong with silver and bronze.
Despite a haul of 20 medals by the morning of Day Nine (Sunday), Australia lay 20th in the overall table with just the one gold, plus 12 silver and 7 bronze, to Team GB's 30 and third place and arch rival New Zealand's 13th place, courtesy of three gold and four bronze.
In Beijing, the Australians picked up 46 medals including 14 golds.
The swimmers have been a particular focus of attention, prompting 4x100 freestyle gold medallist Cate Campbell to tell journalists on Sunday: "I think it is, maybe almost a little bit hurtful when people say we've been underperforming, because we go out there and we pour our heart and soul into every single performance and it is not that we haven't been performing, it is just that the world has stepped up and you look at last time we were at the very top of the world and they've just reined us in and hopefully we will be doing the reining in the next time and it is just the way it goes, it goes in waves.
"And it is not through lack of trying that we haven't produced any gold medals but as Mitchell said there is nothing wrong with the silver medal. What is wrong with standing on the podium? You know they only give out one gold medal, but they also give out one silver and one bronze, and that is just the way it goes.
It is not through lack of trying or lack of preparation or lack of leadership or lack of coaching, that we maybe haven't performed as well as Australia expects us. We got to remember we are only a nation of 22 million people and when you are going up against the United States which has what, 550 million (sic)?
We are a very small country and to really hold some serious ground on the world stage is very, very impressive and I think we all have to be very proud of what Australia has produced, because we have a very small pool to chose from."