Seven-a-side rugby star Charlotte Caslick attributes the fear of “sucking in” as much as the Tokyo Olympics for inspiring Australia’s golden form this year, which they hope to continue to the Sydney Sevens in January.
The Australians went through the 2016 Olympics undefeated and were again aimed for medals in Tokyo, but were attacked by any bronze medalists in Fiji and retired in the quarter-finals.
After some post-Games inner research, the Aussies have dusted off to win every major Sevens trophy on offer this season, including the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
Caslick said the Olympic heartbreak was the catalyst for the dream run of form.
“We have collapsed so much in Tokyo and not everyone really wants to feel that way,” he told reporters.
“It was a really difficult experience for a lot of girls.
“We had a collective agreement that we didn’t talk about much but we all knew we had to work harder and be better.
“We weren’t fit enough, that was a big deal.
“There were some things off the pitch that we needed to fix in regards to nutrition and making sure we treat our bodies with the respect they deserve.”
Now the Aussies are hoping to bolster their momentum at next year’s Sydney Sevens, where they will have a chance to add another string to their bow: home win.
Restrictions due to COVID-19 have forced the Sydney Sevens on a three-year hiatus, but the new Allianz Stadium will host a weekend of games from January 27-29.
“We have such a young team that some of them have never had the experience of playing in front of their home stadium,” said Caslick.
“All the girls are looking forward to showing their skills in front of everyone.”
Despite their seemingly inexorable shape, Australia has the potential to reach new heights on its territory, according to Caslick.
“There is definitely another level (that we can reach),” he said.
“Obviously now everyone will try to chase us and we will be the ones that everyone will want to beat.
“When you are at home, everyone wants to beat you even more.
“(But) this group seems to be doing very well under pressure and thriving under pressure.”