Trickett tried to rebuild morale

Alarm bells were ringing for Libby Trickett well before the Australian swimming team arrived in London.

But the four-time Olympic gold medallist knew things had changed for the worse when teammates started knocking back her requests to show their support in the London pool's grandstands.

Trickett yesterday agreed with the findings of an independent review that a "toxic" team culture existed during the London campaign.

But she backed Leigh Nugent, saying the besieged Australian head coach was the right man for the job.

Trickett came out of retirement to qualify for the London Games.

She said she was wary of the Australian 4x100m freestyle men's relay squad's pre-Olympic boasts.

"Certainly when the 4x100m boys were talking about winning gold medals and that sort of stuff I had seen that happen before and it had not always been a good outcome," she said.

"Though you are never going to go 'they are going to stuff up' - hindsight is a wonderful thing.

"The biggest bugbear I had was trying to get people in the stands," she said. "That was my biggest frustration trying to organise that support."

The West Australian

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