I think it is a case of both. Lottery funding has definitely helped Team GB but Australia have been struggling for sometime. Sure there is an element of this simply being part of the cycle of sport but they are going to be well away from the gold medal totals of past Commonwealth Games. As ever though I wouldn't expect the Aussies to be down for long!
What has interested me this Commonwealth Games is how poorly the Aussies have done. The BBC keep showing the medal table but don't really say that the battle between England and Australia at the top is amazing given it is usually not close. Last 3 games are:
2002 - Aussies 82 golds (207 medals) and England 54 golds (165 medals)
2006 - Aussies 84 golds (222 medals) and England 36 golds (110 medals)
2010 - Aussies 74 golds (177 medals) and England 37 golds (142 medals)
Australia have been in a decline for a while but think this is even worse for them than 2012.
It has been good to see home nation swimmers doing so well and when you hear the swimmers interviewed you can hear that the competition between them in training and throughout the year is driving them all on. Ok we will have the great US of A at the Olympics but I think they GB will do well in Rio with a few golds and a good haul of silvers and bronzes.
Anyway who would have know making athletes full time would allow us to dominate poor commonwealth countries
Sport is like Ogres, and Ogres are like Onions. Onions have layers. The Commonwealth Games is a layer down from Olympics and Worlds. Interestingly for the Europeans it depends on the events whether it is a layer up or down.
At any level if you compete at a layer down then however much you try it is a little less meaningful. For example, now I run parkrun I really struggle to get motivated for the parents race at sports day.
I think that is implied Nick when he shows his career path spiraling from doing it to waffling about it. Given his general light tone on RW I would imagine he makes a great constructive assessor who helps people develop and grow....."do it right or I will punch you in the face"