The individual medal went, as expected, to the versatile Lars Hall of Sweden. And the versatile Konstantin Salnikov of Russia, world pentathlon champion, got nothing at all, not even the chance to compete.
In the midst of the heavy news traffic from Australia comes a wire from Bill Talbert, captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, which has a date with Hoad, Rosewall & Co. between Christmas and New Year's. The message:
"It is a little odd to come to Australia and not find ourselves the center of attention. Normally, newspapermen by the dozens are at our elbows. Small tykes pounce upon us for autographs, and observers lean over the fences studying our form. This year the early pressure has been eased somewhat by a bit of interesting sports business known as the Olympic Games which has all of Australia enrapt.
"So we have been able to train without too many outside interruptions. This is enough to make a Davis Cup captain happy. Our performance chart to date has not been what you might call sparkling, but our progress has been steady and good.
"In the New South Wales Championships at Sydney, our first tournament on arrival, not an American player made the quarter-finals. That may have been shocking to some, but to us it was the result of several factors, such as lack of condition, need for readjustment to grass and absence of topflight competition since our summer season closed. In the South Australian Championship at Adelaide three players, Vic Seixas, Herbie Flam and Sam Giammalva, reached the quarter-finals. Seixas and Giammalva, who are developing into a first-rate doubles combination, gained the tandem finals against Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall.
"I like the way we are progressing—slowly and surely. The mental attitude of our team is excellent, the physical condition is improving, we are not a discouraged, beaten team before the bell rings. From oldsters like Seixas and Flam to the kids, Sam Giammalva, Mike Green and Mike Franks, there is a lot of that old enthusiasm and college try. I think every boy on the squad is conscious of America's proud showing in the Olympics at Melbourne, and each is determined to match the showing, though odds are great against us.
"Hoad and Rosewall appear about the same as when they were in the States—no better, no worse, and that was good enough to win all major titles in the world. Hoad is recovering from an arm ailment and should be in top shape by Davis Cup time. Rosewall is the same line-splitting marksman of old. One thing is obvious: neither is invincible. Both have been beaten by players below the standard of our own. Under certain conditions they can be beaten again. It's our job to create those conditions, and we're working at it."
Australian papers please copy.
CURRENT WEEK & WHAT'S AHEAD