Nearly nine million dollars spent in four years and two medals to show for it.
That’s the meagre return on investment for Swimming New Zealand following a lean Commonwealth Games display in Glasgow that would have been disastrous if not for Lauren Boyle.
New Zealand’s four-medal haul in the pool was only given weight by Boyle’s freestyle gold and silver, and para-swimmer Sophie Pascoe’s two gold. The two medals gained by the country’s 14-strong able-bodied team – both won by Boyle – harked back to similar low returns from the 1998 and 2002 Games.
This country hasn’t won an Olympic swimming medal since Danyon Loader won two gold at Atlanta 1996, and only the most optimistic fan would predict that drought will be broken in Rio in two years’ time.