CANBERRA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Olympic chief has backed Australian athletes to double the nation's medal tally from the 2012 London Games and finish top five in the medal count in Brazil.
Kitty Chiller, former pentathlete and Olympic chef de mission for the 410-strong Australian squad to head to Rio, said she expects Australia to double its effort from London, which was its worst Olympics since 1992.
In London, Australia finished eighth on the medal tally with eight gold medals. Chiller thinks Australia has the firepower to double that in Rio, which could catapult Australia into the top five.
"We will need 15, maybe 16 gold medals to get in that top five, and probably mid-40s in overall medals," Chiller told News Corp on Friday.
"That's double the gold medals we won in London. For any country to double their number of golds in one quad is a huge ask. I genuinely believe we can do it."
It might seem far-fetched, however sports statistics firm Gracenote believes Chiller's assessment isn't far off; its "Virtual Medal Tally" has Australia finishing fifth on the table, with 17 gold medals, 13 silver medal and 13 bronze medals, for a total of 43.
Chiller said the preparation put in by the athletes was world class, and said the training regimes would pay off once the events begin on Aug. 6.
"The signs are very encouraging across many disciplines. That is the key. We need more sports - more disciplines - winning medals," Chiller said.
"Our rowers, everyone was there at the last world cup in Poland, five medals, two gold. Our track cyclists dominated the world championships as well, so the signs are there across multiple sports.
"The swimmers currently have eight world No.1 rankings, the sailors are regularly on the podium and have been doing that since London."
She said the rugby sevens - a new event for this Olympics - was a medal chance for both the men's and women's teams, while hockey, water polo, basketball and soccer were all events in which Australia could clinch a medal.
Chiller heads to Rio on Friday to make the final preparations ahead of the athlete arrivals which begin on July 25. Events at the Games begin on Aug. 6, with the opening ceremony set to take place on Aug. 5.