Monday, October 11, 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010: England struggle to overhaul India into second place in Delhi

England is struggling to overhaul India for second place on the Commonwealth Games medal tally as leaders Australia claim superiority across most sports including the pool.

India has set itself a target to stay ahead of England as the two countries swap positions for second and third.

England has won a total of 105 medals by day eight of the Games, but has been relegated to third on the medal tally because of a deficiency of gold.

So far India is beating England because it has won 29 golds compared to England's 26. But on the total medal count England is superior with 105 to India's 74.

Australia is leading the medal tally with 137 medals, 61 of them gold. But in the sport of swimming - one of the few sports considered of world class standard and a litmus test of progression leading up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, Australia has claimed an early victory.

Australian head swim coach Leigh Nugent said his team had scored a psychological blow over the Home Nations even though England had secured its best away result with a tally of 34 medals, 11 more than Melbourne four years ago. Of the 34, England won seven gold medals and Scotland contributed two gold.

But Australia also improved its golden tally to 20 (up from 17 in Melbourne).

Nugent said the British team had "taken a big hit" in a critical time before the London Games and said the Brits would be shaken by the experience.

National performance director Michael Scott revealed the target for British swimmers had been exceeded by three medals.

He did, though, identify improvements which needed to be made, such as coming out on top in close races as well as starts and turns.

He said: "It was a challenging environment. I was pleased - our last two days were our strongest days."

England team leader John Atkinson was satisfied with his squad's effort which saw them exceed by five the target of 24 they had set based on world rankings, while the number of finalists had risen to 68. "We can go away really proud with what we've done," he said.

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