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Australia is in desperate need of another Olympic gold medal after swimmer James Magnussen missed the top spot by a sickeningly narrow margin in yesterday’s London 2012 100m freestyle.

For a country proud of its sporting prowess, the current single medal is a cruel blow.

So far, Australia has one gold medal from the women's 4x100m freestyle relay win on Saturday, five silvers and two bronze. The country’s one gold puts it 16th in an Olympic medal table which is still dominated by China, which has 17 golds.

If Australia’s medal haul in London 2012 doesn’t pick up soon the country will be facing its worst Olympics since Barcelona 20 years ago.

Magnussen ‘The Missile’ looked grim yesterday after a gold medal was whisked away from him by American Nathan Adrian by less than 0.01 seconds, leaving the Aussie with a silver in the Olympic swimming event.

"It hurts," Magnussen said. "I did my best tonight and it was not quite good enough. To lose by that amount stings.”


Australian swimmer James Magnussen: not happy

21-year-old Magnussen had already had his ego knocked after failing to medal in the earlier men's 4x100m freestyle relay, which Australia were firm favourites to win.

"I guess having such a successful young career, I just felt pretty much bullet proof coming into these Olympics and it's very humbling,” he said after yesterday’s final.

Australian Olympic backstroke 100m silver medallist Emily Seebohm, another of the country’s gold medal hopes, burst into tears after losing her race, saying in an interview:

"I guess when you swim that fast in the heat, then people put pressure and more pressure on you, saying: 'Oh, you're going to get the gold.' Maybe I just started believing that and just thought I'd already won by the time I had swum and I hadn't even swum yet.

Sports-mad Australia has a history of success at the Olympic Games and in particular in swimming.

However Australian head coach Leigh Nugent has admitted that his team is unlikely to replicate its victory at the past three Olympics in which Aussies won five gold medals in Sydney (2000), seven in Athens (2004) and six in Beijing (2008).

"That's life. I've got a job to do, I'm doing the best I can, this team is doing the best it can and whatever measure people want to put on that, they are at liberty to do that," Nugent said.

What do you think Aussies? Where do you hope to see your country pulling in more Olympic golds?

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London 2012: Australia's Olympic gold medal blues
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