Olympics: Aussies claim Kiwi successes for their own

By Paul Harper

With Australia trailing behind their Kiwi cousins on the Olympic Games medal table, New Zealand’s three gold medals are being “embraced” by Sydney's Daily Telegraph.  Photo / Supplied
With Australia trailing behind their Kiwi cousins on the Olympic Games medal table, New Zealand’s three gold medals are being “embraced” by Sydney's Daily Telegraph. Photo / Supplied

The Aussies have a history of claiming New Zealand successes, be it Crowded House, Phar Lap or pavlova.

Now, with Australia trailing behind their smaller trans-Tasman cousins on the Olympic Games medal table, New Zealand's three gold medals are being "embraced".

On the back page of today's Sydney's Daily Telegraph, "Aus Zealand" sits proudly at ninth place on their medal table, with four gold, 12 silver, and 11 bronze medals. Of those, only one of the gold medals is actually Australia's.

Over the weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald's Richard Hinds wrote that while Australia is not living up to pre-Olympics expectations, "Team Oceania" is having a great games.

"But the real challenge to Australia's sporting self-esteem has been issued by the Kiwis who, with three gold medals (all from rowing), were perched seven places higher than Australia on the medal table.

"Which, in time-honoured tradition, will prompt us to embrace the spirit of great Australasians Neil Finn, Russell Crowe and Phar Lap and to note that, with four gold medals, Team Oceania is doing quite well," he wrote.

"Disaster? Not at all. Just another great moment in the proud history of Team Oceania."

Australia had high hopes of finishing with the top five at the Olympics, however currently languish in 24th, although several gold medal chances remain for their athletes.

While some in the media have approached the situation with good humour, others have perhaps been more bitter. In displaying the medal table over the weekend, Channel 9 showed only the top nine nations, therefore not showing New Zealand who were then sitting in tenth.

It's not the first time the Aussies have tried to claim New Zealand sporting success. After Australia was smashed 4-0 by Germany at the 2010 Football World Cup and New Zealand claimed a historic draw with Slovakia, the Sydney Morning Herald's headline read "Australasia 1 - Slovakia 1".

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