Poor team spirit blasted by Olympian
Poor team spirit blasted by Olympian

It was the party they had waited four years for.

But as Australia's Olympic swim team woke yesterday with the first hangovers they'd had for some time, they were also facing a backlash from one of their own, former Olympian Geoff Huegill.

Huegill accused some athletes of failing to show enough team spirit and said half the swim team was missing from the stands on the final night of racing on Saturday.

His comments were prompted by a Twitter photo posted by swimmer Jessicah Schipper, showing her visiting a London pub on the last day of racing.

"'I'm already at the pub' ... what kind of message is that when teammates were still to swim for medals on the last day," Huegill was quoted as saying in London, where he is covering the Olympics for Foxtel. "On night three for our two girls in the medley final (Alicia Coutts and Stephanie Rice), I saw only half the Australian team in the stand supporting them."

"In my day, knowing you had a close team behind you when you stood on the blocks made a huge difference." Schipper, who was pictured without alcohol in the photo, fought back on the social media site yesterday, posting another photo of herself decked in green and gold accompanied by the caption: "Apparently I haven't been supporting the team I must wear this for fun"

With the attention turning to the track, the swimmers finally let their hair down at the athletes' club, the Last Lap, on Sunday.

Big names including James Magnussen, Emily Seebohm, Stephanie Rice and Alicia Coutts were at the club. They were quick to share their excitement on Twitter, with silver medallist Christian Sprenger writing: "Can't wait to finish off my swimming campaign at the last lap party! Going to be awesome," while Melanie Schlanger, who won gold in the 4x100 freestyle relay, shared a photo of her holding a bottle of champagne, which she said was her "first drink in over two years".

Huegill's comments followed criticism from Olympic legend Susie O'Neill querying the work ethic.

But as Australia slipped to 24th on the medal tally, long-jumper Mitchell Watt defended the performances.

Watt, who won silver after going into the Games as a gold medal favourite, lashed out at the Australian media for being too critical.

"People need to start understanding that it's not easy to win an Olympic gold medal and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a silver medal," Watt said.

The West Australian

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