Men's Sevens get advice from Olympic legend

Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

The Men’s Sevens have been gleaning all they can from Australian cycling legend, and Rio flag bearer, Anna Meares. 

The five-time Olympic medallist is staying at Portobello, 100 kilometres south of Rio, for a pre-Games training camp along with the Sevens team. 

“After she spent a week in the Village, she just said she’s looking forward to spending some time down here in the sun and next to the beach, just relaxing before the Opening Ceremony kicks it off,” Tom Cusack said.The Men primed after a week in camp in Brazil. Photo: ARU Media

The veteran of three Olympics is in camp with the Australian Cycling Team as they prepare for Rio, with the beachside resort an ideal getaway as plenty of other national sporting squads roll into Portobello for a pre-Games tune-up. 

“It’s been like a little Village in itself,” Cusack said.

“When we turned up the Swedish soccer team were here, and the Russian fencing team are still here. 

“The Great Britain sailing team have turned up and the Netherlands hockey team, which some of the boys were pretty excited about.” 

The excitement is palpable amongst Andy Friend’s squad with the four-year lead-up to the Games reaching its climax in just seven days time.Tom Cusack has battled a wrist injury for much of the season. Photo: ARU Media

A wrist injury kept Cusack sidelined for large parts of the Sevens World Series this season but won’t hamper him for their Pool B opener against France.

“I don’t think I have felt any fitter, coming into these Games,” he said.

“The wrist is holding up and the body is holding up, which is always a pleasing sign.

“To be able to cement such a strong knit 12 (12-man squad) on the biggest sporting stage is something that the management should be commended for, but also the boys for putting in the yards and getting through.”

After kicking off against France on August 10 (12am AEST), Australia will face Spain and South Africa in Pool B.