While there are still plenty more races to be run, the diagnosis as to why Australia has performed so poorly at the London Olympic Games is already underway.
To date London has not been a fruitful medal battleground for Australia, a country which traditionally fights well above its weight.
We are a long way from the top-five finish most of Australia had been hoping for. Before us in the medal tally of nations are a number of countries we would normally leave well behind in our wake – New Zealand, North Korea, Cuba and Kazakhstan.
New Zealand at No. 13 and Great Britain at No. 3 are particularly numbing.
But to be fair to the British, they were always going to perform well with the home ground advantage.
There is, however, a very good reason why Great Britain is doing so well and it has little to do with the Games being in its own backyard.
A number of years ago Britain made a conscious decision to improve its standing as a sporting nation and has ploughed millions of dollars into the Olympic sports disciplines.
Previously its sporting achievements were limited for a country which is one of the main players in world affairs.
It has shown the rest of the world what can be achieved with plenty of hard work and lots of money.
And unfortunately, Australia has done a lot to help the Brits. They have secured some of our top coaches, like one of Moree’s favourite sons in Shane Sutton, who heads up Team GB’s cycling program.
They have also borrowed some of our expertise in other areas and in the process have dramatically transformed Britain from easy-beats to a sporting powerhouse.
China too, has been tapping into
Australia’s extensive sporting resources.
And we can only congratulate New Zealand, the country we always want to beat, for its outstanding Olympic effort.
So what’s gone wrong?
The Australian Olympic team has either underperformed or our expectations were too high.
The reality is, however, we have not performed anywhere near the standards we have set at previous Olympic Games.With so much in our favour – we really should be doing better.
Hopefully, the post-Olympic analysis will identify the problems and find the solutions to get us back on top again where we belong.
Because a sporting nation as rich and obsessed as Australia will not settle for finishing in the middle of the field.
We want gold and plenty of it.