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Aussies quietly confident after successful champs

Australia coach Gary Sutton said he was feeling confident ahead of the Rio Olympics after his team shone at the World Championships in France.

Aussies quietly confident after successful champs

France: Australia coach Gary Sutton said he was feeling confident ahead of the Rio Olympics after his team shone at the World Championships in France.

The women were particularly impressive with the team pursuit squad breaking the world record en route to victory and Anna Meares claiming a record 11th women`s world title.

Australia picked up four women`s titles and 11 medals in total to finish second behind hosts France in the overall table.

"We`re pretty happy, as you would expect, but we also know that there`s still a long way to go to Rio, so we`ve just got to go back on Monday and get back on with the job," said Sutton. 

"All the athletes get a couple of weeks off and then we all regroup again and get back to business."

But Sutton insisted the dominant performances of the women`s team, who put perennial rivals Britain firmly in their place, came as no surprise.

"To be honest with you I did (expect it). We came here to close the gap to be honest but they showed some very good form before we left Australia, so yeah we`re pretty pleased.

"But I did expect them (the team pursuit squad) to ride a good time."

In contrast to the Aussies, Britain suffered their worst championship in 14 years, winning just three silver medals.

Having dominated the last Olympics, Britain`s fall from grace has been alarming, but Sutton does not believe they have become weaker. 

"Not really, they`ve got a new coaching structure in place, new coaches on board and already we`ve seen a few improvements there from our point of view," he said.

"Look we can`t control what Britain do, we can only worry about our own back yard to be honest, but we`ve also been around long enough to know when it comes to Rio, they`ll be knocking on the door, they`ll certainly be there."

Looking at his own squad, Sutton was particularly pleased for Meares, who had finished second in the 500m timetrial before being knocked out early in the women`s sprint.

"What an absolute gem! She`s been an absolute role model for our girls and a role model for the sport to be honest with you. And certainly one of the greats," he said. 

Meares herself said the record title made up for her earlier disappointments.

"I was really disappointed after the sprint two days ago, I wasn`t sure how I was going to fare today (Sunday)," admitted Meares.

"All my teammates rallied behind me, gave me some chocolate, made me feel better and let me have some fun today.

"Fun turned out to be sharp execution of races and in the right position all the time. And I made the most of my opportunities." 

From Zee News

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