Chiller reads the riot act as Australia counts down to Rio

Wed Aug 5, 2015 12:44am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's chef de mission Kitty Chiller left no one in any doubt what standard of behavior she will expect from her team of just over 460 athletes when the Rio de Janeiro Olympics get underway a year on Wednesday.

The former modern pentathlete, the first woman to lead Australia into a Summer Games, pulled no punches as she made clear that there would be zero tolerance for misbehavior, illegal gambling or doping on her watch.

Furthermore, she gave warning to those Olympians in sports outside swimming that she expected them to step up to the plate so Australia could reach its "aspirational" target of a top-five finish on the medals table.

"It will not be easy," she told reporters at a news conference to mark the one-year countdown to the Games.

"If we are going to get to the top five, the spread of medals needs to be greater. In Sydney, we won medals in 20 sports, in London it was across just 13.

"We're hoping the swimmers will increase their medal haul from London but, if we're to succeed in Rio, other sports need to step up.

"Equestrian, shooting, taekwondo, beach volleyball - they were all on the podium in Sydney and they all have genuine chances to be on the podium in Rio and we need them to be."

Australia finished 10th on the medals table in London three years ago, a fall from sixth in Beijing in 2008 and fourth both in Athens in 2004 and on home soil in Sydney in 2000.   Continued...

Australia's Olympic 100 metres hurdles champion Sally Pearson (C), who has been ruled out of this month's world championships in Beijing due to injury, and basketballer Joe Ingles (L) react as they listen to Australia's chef de mission Kitty Chiller as she speaks during a media conference in Sydney, Australia, August 5, 2015.   REUTERS/David Gray