I agree with him that for overall medals, the US will still be no. 1
swimming nation as they have too much depth for any other nation to
match, but in terms of gold medals, we have to see the outcome of the
Talbot does a dance
By William Murray, NBCOlympics.com
SYDNEY -- Australia swimming coach Don Talbot trotted out his stars for
their much-awaited news conference at the media press center Tuesday.
They all smiled, talked about their families, their hopes and dreams.
What they didnt talk about were the Americans. Its not that they
didnt want to talk -- the local papers have been filled over the last
few days with a war of words between the Aussie men's stars and their
U.S. counterparts, particularly Gary Hall Jr. and Lenny Krayzelburg.
It was that Talbot halted any chance they had to respond to two
specific questions asked about the rivalry. Instead, the Aussie head
coach did what coaches generally do -- he tried to eliminate any
"Far too much is being made of this," Talbot said. "For your
information, there are more than two teams in this meet. The Americans
come in here No. 1 in the world. The whole world is trying to beat the
States. You know that and I know that. We know what we are messing
around with here."
"We are going to try to do the best we can. Obviously, we are trying to
push the Americans off their pedestal, but we are going to need help.
There have to be other nations in there."
"There are a whole lot of great swimmers coming to this meet. To just
focus on a dual meet between America and Australia ... I think you are
out of your mind."
Talbot then rhetorically asked the press how an overall winner of the
Olympic swim competition would be chosen.
"How are you measuring this meet?" he asked. "By gold medals? By total
medals? By dual meets? ... How are you going to class who is the
best? ... If the Americans win on gold and we win total medals, who
wins? Then if you win on neither of those but have the highest point
total, is there a nice, convenient way for a nation to say they are No.
Talbot admitted that his team likely is not deep enough to defeat the
U.S. squad in total medals.
"We do not have a strong enough team (to out-medal the U.S.) unless the
world can help us do that," he said. "Neither does any other single
nation. The Americans can deny that all they want, but just look at the
history of the sport. Look at the history of the Olympics."
So how would Talbot judge the winner?
"Honestly, Im a purist from the old school," he said. "To me, it would
be gold medals."
At least we know what he thinks.
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