Brits claim Ashes edge over Oz in pool | india | Hindustan Times
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Brits claim Ashes edge over Oz in pool

England's swimmers said they could match anyone in the world, after again overshadowing a weakened Australian men's team.

india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 20:13 IST

England's swimmers on Saturday said they could match anyone in the world, after again overshadowing a weakened Australian men's team in front of their rival's home crowd.

England and Scotland relegated Australia to third place in the men's 4x200m freestyle, once regarded as a gold medal certainty for the host nation.

Christopher Cook and James Gibson also recorded England's third gold-silver double of the meet in the men's 100 metre breaststroke, constrasting strongly with an Australian men's team yet to win a single gold.

Cook said the success should act as a springboard to international success for a squad that had been hampered by lack of faith at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

"Individuals can stand up and be counted and we can give the Aussies, the Americans, the Canadians a good run for their money, we just need to believe in ourselves," he said.

"We can go toe-to-toe with anyone."

The Australian men have struggled without their world beaters Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett, but relay swimmer Ross Davenport, who also won the men's 200 metre freestyle yesterday, said England has still beaten the best the host nation could muster.

For breaststroke silver medallist Gibson winning bragging rights in the Australians' home pool echoed England's Ashes cricket success last year and the Rugby World Cup final win over the Wallabies in Sydney in 2003.