Published August 05, 2013
SYDNEY (AFP) – The signs are good for the Australian swimming team ahead of the 2016 Olympics after winning 13 medals at the world championships in Barcelona, the Australian Olympic Committee said.
Australia finished fourth on the overall medals table behind the United States with three gold and 10 silver, with 12 of those medals coming in Olympic swimming events.
"There were very encouraging signs coming out of Barcelona and I congratulate all members of the team," AOC president John Coates said in a statement.
"It is very pleasing to note the increase in medals from the London (Olympic) Games from 10 to twelve including the two extra gold medals."
Christian Sprenger won gold in the men's 100m breaststroke and Australia claimed the sprint double with James Magnussen and Cate Campbell winning the 100m freestyle finals.
Australia last held both men's and women's freestyle crowns at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
The Barcelona medals compared with one gold (women's relay), six silver and three bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games.
London was Australian swimming's first Olympics without an individual gold medal since 1976 and its worst Games medal haul for 20 years.
A tumultuous 12 months ensued with two independent inquiries into what went wrong.
The sport's president, chief executive and head coach all departed, while Swimming Australia lost its major sponsor, had a cut in government funding and imposed sanctions for some misbehaving swimmers.
Alicia Coutts was the stand-out performer for Australia in Barcelona with five silver medals.
"I hope that Alicia will continue on and lead our swim team to Rio (in 2016)," Coates said.
Other multiple medallists were Campbell, Sprenger, Magnussen and Emily Seebohm.