YOU’re welcome, Australia. The Hunter’s happy to bail you out.
For those in doubt, consider this. If the Hunter was a country (and included the Central Coast) it would sit 28th on the medal table ahead of the likes of Canada and Spain.
Coasties might bristle at being lumped into a Hunter republic but work with us, ye of the blocks of flats. It makes our stats more impressive.
An independent Hunter’s strength would be, so far, sailing.
Wangi Wangi’s Nathan Outteridge and crewmate Iain Jensen sealed the 49er-class gold medal overnight (I pray), having clinched it two days earlier.
Gosford’s Tom Slingsby had already won Australia’s first individual gold of London 2012 in the Laser class.
And while she didn’t swim the final, Merewether’s Angie Bainbridge helped Australia’s silver medal-winning 4x200m freestyle relay team win their heat. Totally counts.
Since countries on the medal table are ranked by golds won, the Wangi lads’ win would catapult an independent Hunter to 28th and ahead (as we write) of Canada, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Which invites comparisons to Yorkshire, the other overachieving region of these Games.
Four Yorkshire competitors, including star heptathlete Jessica Ennis, have won gold so far. That’s one more than Australia. As you can imagine, the Yorkies haven’t kept quiet about that.
Then again, Yorkshire has 4million people. We’ve no more than 700,000. We’re punching above our weight.
Best of all, the Hunter can add to its haul in the coming days through the likes of Kookaburra Simon Orchard (who’s from Maitland) and discus thrower Benn Harradine (Newcastle).
Other hopefuls include triathlete Brendan Sexton (Maitland), water polo player Richie Campbell (Merewether) and basketballers Suzy Batkovic (Lambton) and Jenny Screen (Adamstown).
Hunter, Hunter, Hunter - oi, oi ... actually, let’s not. A new country means a clean slate. We’ll work on the chants later