Swimming, triathlon were funding flops

Swimming and triathlon are the two New Zealand sports being singled out for bringing poor investment returns at the London Olympics.

High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) chief executive Alex Baumann says the haul of 13 medals in London equals the overall number of medals won in Seoul in 1988.

But he says it's the five golds won in London that make it a remarkable effort.

"Our team stepped up and performed really well on what is undoubtedly the world's toughest sporting stage," Baumann said.

"They have to perform on demand in a setting with significant distractions and incredible pressure, against the strongest fields of competitors. So it's a real accomplishment to achieve what we have at these Games."

A highlight was the gold won by the men's rowing pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, followed soon after by another gold for single sculler Mahe Drysdale.

"Their performances were so commanding and the fact they came in quick succession of each other is something for all New Zealanders to remember for a long time to come," Baumann said.

The swimming team underperformed in London, failing to make their target of five finals.

"However, Lauren Boyle made two finals and finished fourth in the 800m freestyle, which is a fantastic achievement in such a highly competitive sport," said Baumann, who won two Olympic gold medals swimming for Canada.

"I do believe swimming is a sport with medal potential for New Zealand."

The Kiwi triathletes also failed to make an impact.

"It was disappointing that triathlon did not produce a medal when it was on track to do so," Baumann said.

Swimming has received nearly $7.5 million funding from HPSNZ over the past three years and triathlon $6.9m.

A target of 10 or more medals was set when planning for the 2012 London Games began in 2006.