LONDON (AFP) –
Great Britain Olympic chiefs insisted Tuesday there was no panic in the camp despite the lack of winners thus far and said they were confident of beating rivals Australia in the medals table.
Great Britain’s squad is the best-funded ever thanks to a huge injection of public money ahead of the London Games in the hope of sparking a surge of medals.
But as Tuesday’s fourth day of medals action began with the hosts still searching for an elusive gold, the British squad have faced questions as to whether they will actually deliver on the investment.
Meanwhile their rivals have been crowing, with the Aussies starting to think they might win the traditional bet between the two camps as to who will finish the Games on top, having lost out at the Beijing 2008 Games.
At the start of Tuesday’s programme, Australia were in 10th place with one gold, two silvers and a bronze, while Great Britain were 10 places behind with a sole silver and two bronzes.
“We don’t intend for that to last too long,” said Colin Moynihan, chairman of the British Olympic Association.
“Australia are a great team. They’ll come through. They’re going to be really tough. It’s a healthy rivalry and we’ll catch them up.”
“I’m very comfortable with where the team is.
“We’re doing absolutely fine overall as a team. We need to be patient. The medals and the gold medal performances will follow.
“It’s always good to be ahead of Germany in the medal table, as well as Canada.
“The rowing finals are about to being on Wednesday, the cyclists are coming into the Velodrome, and there’s our sailors. We’re going to have that core delivery of success.
“I think we’re beginning to see, as we forecast, more medals in more sports. We delivered on the gymnastics,” he said, referring to the men’s team bronze in the artistic discipline.
“I’m not one who buys into medal tally projections. I think it’s frankly a game for the bookies and not for those who are close to sports because the wonder of sport is the uncertainty and the unpredictability.
“We need to make sure that Team GB are well prepared; they are and they will deliver.”
Andy Hunt, Great Britain’s chef de mission, added: “The athletes remain confident. There’s no sense at all amongst the team that we are not delivering. We are on plan.”
Besides the team gymnastics, Britain’s medals so far are a silver for Lizzie Armitstead in the cycling women’s road race and a bronze for swimmer Rebecca Adlington in the 400m freestyle.
Australia’s medals have all come in the pool.