The pressure will be on British teams to perform at the Delhi Commonwealth Games with the 2012 London Olympics looming, says Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti.


Australia are backing up from their most successful Games’ medals haul – 221 in Melbourne, including 84 gold.

And they would be forgiven for being confident of going close again after sending the biggest away Games team to Delhi – 378 athletes.

But asked if there was pressure on Australia to provide a strong showing ahead of the London Games, Moneghetti said: “No – but I am sure England are very conscious of that.

“It’s not something the Australian team is concerned about. “I think they (England) are pushing up the rivalry more than us, that’s what England like to do.

“And they have got the home games (in 2012) so the pressure is on the British teams I think.”

England combined with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as Great Britain to finish ahead of Australia on the medal tally in Beijing – it marked the first time they had achieved the feat at an Olympics since 1988.

Despite finishing a distant second in Melbourne with 36 gold, England are still expected to threaten Australia’s dominance in Delhi as they count down to hosting the Olympics.

And Moneghetti played up the underdog role in the looming battle, throwing doubt on whether Australia would repeat their Melbourne heroics in India.

“It is going to be difficult to match that, obviously it was a home games,” he said.

“The set up here is different and the sports have changed – triathlon and basketball are not on the program and there is the introduction of archery, wrestling and tennis.”