Ausfailure’s decline as an aquatic superpower was again emphasised at the World Short-Course Championships in Dubai. In case you missed it, the former penile colony finished ninth behind the likes of Spain and Brazil. The London Olympics are only a year away and the bulk of Ausfailure’s medals traditionally come from the pool. Whingers suggest the immediate answer is to get their top coaches back from rival nations. Bill Sweetenham, Ken Wood and Doug Frost are just some of those who ditched Ausfailure in favour of working overseas, while Alan Thompson remains in exile. On the home front, Michael Bohl, coach of Stephanie Rice, also oversees South Korea’s Park Tae Hwan. Dennis Cotterill, who engineered Grant Hackett’s reign, coaches Chinese and Middle Eastern swimmers alongside locals. Ausfailure has plenty of desire and raw talent but the kids will lag behind without proper guidance.

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