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Aussie Women’s Sevens Must Let Go of Rio Says Walsh

It is time to forget the past, a past that included a 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal for the Aussie Women’s sevens side, according to Coach Tim Walsh.

It has been almost a year exactly since the Aussie women took to the top step of the Olympic podium and they have slipped a bit over the past year, losing their World Series Crown and losing the world number one ranking.

The slight decline is made all the worse for losing the top ranking to New Zealand: anybody but the All Blacks seems to be the thinking.

Success breeds massive expectations, and the Aussie women were the victims. They failed to win a single leg of the 2016 World Series, while the Kiwis came away with five wins from six attempts.

The Aussies finished second overall, which would have been an accomplishment were they coming from the bottom, but after rising to the pinnacle, it is tough to rationalise a decline that saw them surpassed by their archrivals from New Zealand.

In remarks made to the Daily Telegraph, Coach Walsh said, “We were certainly wary of a year like that I guess. We put everything into peaking for 2016 and you always want to get better, but you can’t just continually stay at that intensity. So we were wary that it would be hard mentally to keep everybody on point and the fact we’d focused down on the same group of 14 for a while leading into the Games, there would be depth issues if we did lose a few.

We will enjoy Rio for the rest of our lives but we have to let it go. And if we are going to have a bad year, now was the year to have it. Having said that, if a bad year is finishing second in the world, we are still in a good position for next year and it only gives us that hunger leading into the World Series, the Comm Games and the World Cup next year.”