Aussie Sports Sets Targets for Medal Tallies for Sports Participating in Commonwealth Games
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | July 23, 2014 4:41 PM EST
Deliver and the rewards will come; fail and support may be scarce.
Alicia Steer (L) and Gemma MacLean pose on "The Big G" 3-D structure at George Square in Glasgow, Scotland, July 22, 2014. The opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games takes place on July 23.
The lifting of a standard is part of the country's bid to solidify and evaluate every aspect of sport it fields in future games. This strategy was fielded by Great Britain leading up to the London Olympics and produced better than conceived results for the home country, netting a spectacular 29 gold medals.
Couriermail.com reports that Aussie sports is banking on the same philosophy with swimming feeling the biggest pressure with a minimum target haul of 53 medals in the upcoming games in Glasgow. The Athletics squad are expected to take home as much as 20 medals with cycling hoping to tally up to 15 medals and diving hovering in the range of eight to ten wins.
"We have been very specific in what we expect sports to achieve,'' said Australian Sports Commission chief executive Simon Hollingsworth. "The range is quite high. You have an upper and a lower level. The top of the range is 170 medals for the Games. That would get us on top of the competition. This is going to be the toughest Commonwealth Games since Edinburgh in 1986."
Australia is coming off a disappointing showing in the London Olympics where they only garnered a total of only seven gold medals, good for 10th. The prospect of funding shortage in case of dismal performance is the carrot on the stick that the AIS officials are hoping to turnaround and whip the athletes into better performance.
Not among these athletes is four time cycling world champion 30-year-old Anna Maeres who is amongst the favourites to retain her title in the 500 meter time trial and other individual events. She is also the current Olympic and triple Commonwealth Games gold medalist, so there is no shortage of confidence in those areas. The men's cycling team also features a strong group despite the absence of several big names. Young prodigy Caleb Ewan, Mark Renshaw and Simon Clarke are the main riders of the seven man team also expected to dominate the event.
Nevertheless, the targets set by the AIS headed by Director Matt Favier is a tall and heavy task for the sports teams given that this is the first time that targets were introduced in the participation in any sporting event. He also said that said scheme will carry over to the Rio Olympics where the targets for every sport will be published by the nation.
Nevertheless, the current focus of the country is delivering the goods in the Commonwealth which is being graced by prestigious nations and will be opened by no less than the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday.
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