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​Was That One Of The Worst Week's Ever In Australian Sport?

Nothing but pain across three staples of Australian sporting achievement. Here's where it all went wrong.

by Jed Smith
22 August 2016, 10:00pm

Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

From the humiliation of our test cricket team against lowly ranked Sri Lanka, to the Wallabies abysmal showing against the All Blacks, the ailing medal tally in Rio, and another failure by the Boomers, the last week was a tough one for three staples of Australian sporting achievement. Here's a look at where it all went wrong.

Sri Lanka wipes the floor three-nil with our world number one test cricket team

No one saw this coming. Ranked number one in the world heading into the series, Australia was expected to cruise to victory over the 7th ranked Sri Lankans (one above minnows Bangladesh). Instead we were absolutely trounced, with 38 year old bank clerk, Rangana Herath leading Sri Lanka's charge on their way to a three-nil series whitewash. Asked how we could perform so poorly for a team ranked one in the world, Aussie skipper, Steve Smith made the salient point that very few of the test players who earned Australia's number one ranking were still in the team. He also offered the more practical observation that our batting was so poor against Sri Lanka's spin you could literally see stink lines rising coming off the players at times.

"We have been outplayed in every facet of the game. Our plans haven't worked as individuals or as a collective group, we haven't been able to put Sri Lanka under as much pressure as we would have liked."

"What we are doing isn't working; batters aren't adapting to the conditions, spin bowlers aren't adapting to the conditions. I can't fault our quicks, I thought they did a great job, particularly Mitchell Starc, but our batters and spinners are the ones who have to step up and we haven't been able to do that," he said.

The worst Wallabies team in 40 years

Fresh off a three-nil whitewash loss at home to the Poms, the Wallabies test rugby team seemed to have a lot to play for as they ran out against the All Blacks at ANZ stadium, Sydney, on Saturday night. With GABE (Greatest All Black Ever) Richie McCaw recently retired it looked to be our best chance of winning the Bledisloe Cup in the 13 years since we last held it. But what an absolutely rancid performance they turned in, the game all but over at halftime as the All Blacks cruised to a 42-8 victory in what looked like a medium-octane 'oppose' training session. We now head to the Wellington 'Cake Tin,' where we have never won a game, for the second in the three match series. With five successive test losses, and having racked up the biggest home defeat in test history against the All Blacks, the current Wallabies crop is being hailed the worst test team in 40 years.

Worst Olympics in 24 years

The knives are out for the Australian Olympic team after they recorded Australia's worst finish at the Games in 24 years. Australia's medal tally was exactly half that of the Sydney Olympics 16 years ago, leaving us tenth on the leader's board behind Italy, South Korea and France. Whether we underachieved at this olympics or overachieved at previous ones is open to statistical interpretation. Looked at one way Australia manages to top the medal tally if the medal hauls are compared against the population sizes of the country. Using that arithmetic Australia comes in first with one medal for every 894 886 people with Holland second on one medal per 1.13 million and Great Britain third on one medal per 1.18 million.

The Boomers fail to medal again

With the most NBA players in our midst ever (6) it was expected the Boomers would finally crack the dais at Rio and break their Olympic medal hoodoo. Instead they choked against Serbia, condemning them to a Bronze Medal playoff with Spain. They went down by a point in a final second thriller that left at least two of the players and the coach in tears. It is their fourth loss in a Bronze Medal match.

"We're obviously all gutted all the boys, knowing how much hard work and dedication they've put in to being able to achieve something we all desperately wanted," said Patty Mills.

"It's a tough feeling but on behalf of the boys we'd like to thank everyone in Australia for the amount of support they've given us throughout this whole journey because its been one hell of a journey and we certainly feel like the rest of this country was on this journey with us."

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