China not to be blamed for Australia's swimming downfall: official

Updated: 2012-09-26 15:22


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HUANGSHAN, Anhui province - A Chinese official has denied the link between China's Olympic swimming success and Australia's downfall in the sport despite the fact that Australian coaches were giving Australians black eyes all over London.

"China's success didn't lead to the downfall of Australian swimmers," said Xu Qi, who headed the Chinese national swimming team which swept five gold, two silver and three bronze medals in their best ever Olympic show in London.

Australia only managed a 1-6-3 record in London, the country's poorest performance in the Olympic pool for two decades.

Xu said China will enhance its cooperation in swimming with Australia because the former swimming powerhouse has lots of world-class coaches.

"We will continue to invite foreign coaches to China and at the same time send Chinese swimmers overseas to learn and train," he added.

Australian coach Ken Wood has helped Chinese wonder kid Ye Shiwen to gold medals, right over the top of defending medley champion Stephanie Rice.

Wood's compatriot Denis Cotterell was the mastermind of Sun Yang's world-record win in the 1,500m and 400m freestyle events and another Australian Michael Bohl has guided South Korean Park Tae-hwan to silver medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle.

Cotterell has also instructed Chinese swimmers Zhang Lin, Jiao Liuyang, Zhao Jing and Liu Zige.

Xu said that China will compete in the inaugural Australia-Brazil-China swimming meet, or ABC meet, in Melboure in January 2013.

"Each country will host an ABC meet every year," Xu added.