Sydney, Aug 3 : Former Olympic coach Don Talbot has said Australia''s performance in the pool has declined not because of the work ethic, but because swimming coaches are too focused on training athletes from other countries who pay them more money.
Talbot joined head coach Leigh Nugent in rejecting suggestions by Olympic champion Susie O''Neill that the work ethic of Australian swimmers is not equal to that of a decade ago.
“A lot of [Chinese athletes] are in Australia working with our coaches and ... they pay more money. If someone starts throwing money at them, they''re going to start paying attention to those people,” The Age quoted Talbot, as saying.
Talbot also believed that Australia''s current crop of swimmers are less self-aware and less hungry to succeed than in previous Olympics.
“Everyone seems to be rationalising their performance. They seem to be too happy to accept the fact that they''re not doing well,” Talbot said.
“In years gone by, an athlete would come back and throw things around [in frustration],’ he added.
The subject has arisen in recent days after Australian coaches who have trained Chinese swimmers, who were competing in the Olympics, praised the work ethic of those athletes.
It prompted debate about whether that was why they were succeeding and Australia was comparatively less successful in London. (ANI)