Aussies upset by ‘gold hush’

Aussies upset by ‘gold hush’

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Aussies upset by ‘gold hush’

James Magnussen looks dejected after barely missing the 100-meter freestyle race. Magnussed failed to live up to his nickname ‘Missile’ with his Olympic performances. AFP photo

Australia is sliding towards its worst Olympics in the pool for 20 years after a succession of gold medal hopes have ended in silver at London’s Aquatics Centre.

A pall has descended over the team after talisman James Magnussen’s one-hundredth of a second defeat to American Nathan Adrian in the men’s 100-meter freestyle, an event he was favored to win as the year’s fastest swimmer.

Australia has just one gold from the women’s 4x100-meter freestyle relay win along with five silvers and two bronze.

A “gold hush” as one Australian newspaper termed it in London.

Head coach Leigh Nugent has conceded that his team will get “nowhere near” the gold hauls of the past three Olympics - five in 2000, seven in 2004 and six in 2008.

“That’s life. I’ve got a job to do, I’m doing the best I can, this team is doing the best it can and whatever measure people want to put on that, they are at liberty to do that,” he said.

Nothing more encapsulates the Australian team’s struggle in the London pool than Magnussen missing out on gold as the lead-off swimmer in the men’s medal-less freestyle relay team and in his prime 100-meter freestyle event.

“To lose by that amount stings a lot. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger so hopefully I come out of this a better swimmer and a better person,” he said.