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Coutts Set To Join Club Of Aussie Greats

Nov 23, 2012  - Craig Lord

The Golden Goggles are done, the US has honoured its high achievers and focus shifts to Australia, a nation reviewing its status and culture after 1 gold in 10 medals at London 2012. 

On Saturday, Australia will hold its annual awards, Alicia Coutts in with a strong shout of joining the likes of Ian Thorpe, Susie O'Neill and Kieren Perkins as a multiple winner.

Up for swimmer of the year, Coutts, 25, was the best Dolphin in London, her five medals including gold in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay. The tally fell shy of the golden hauls of Shane Gould - the most successful solo swimmer in Australian swimming history and world swimming history when it comes to 5 individual prizes at one Games (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze in 1972) and Thorpe but the number of prizes matches the best there has ever been.

Coutts claimed the swimmer of the year award in 2010 after triple gold at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. If she picks the top prize up again she would join an elite club of repeater: Thorpe (5), Perkins (3), O'Neill, Michael Klim and Grant Hackett (2 each).

The ceremony, in Melbourne on Saturday, "will allow the sport to celebrate its achievements in the pool amid the fallout from the controversial London campaign and an independent review into Australian swimming", AAP notes, adding: "Australia's swimmers collected their lowest medal haul in London since the 1992 Barcelona Games."

The Aussie awards include coach of the year, the golden moment and the discovery of the year. Australia suffered its disappointments this year but will honour its achievers too. Worth noting all of that back in Britain, an Olympic host that fell shy of hopes and dreams and targets and then watched its federation hurt its achievers further by pulling funding for the only aquatics awards ceremony in the country.