10 August 2016
Australia took its medal tally to nine, from six different sports, as the equestrian eventing team and swimmer Emma McKeon snared bronze medals on day four of the Rio Olympic Games.
McKeon, who was part of the gold-medal winning 4x100m relay, swam brilliantly from lane seven to finish third in the women’s 200m freestyle final behind powerful American Katie Ledecky and Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom.
"I'm so proud. I'm so happy," McKeon said. "After last night I was a bit unsure but my coach just said, pretend it's trials where there's not as much expectation on me, and that's what I tried to do.
"I can get out there in an Olympic final where there's a lot of pressure and just be tough."
Australia’s Bronte Barrett, swimming in lane eight, was just as delighted with her effort clocking her personal best time for the event in her final Olympic Games to finish fifth overall, one place behind Italy’s world record holder, Frederica Pellegrini.
McKeon’s bronze medal followed a third place finish for the Australian equestrian eventing team. The Australian team had started the day leading the competition with the final show jumping stage to decide gold.
Australia’s Chris Burton, who was also leading the individual competition heading into the show jumping leg, had all the pressure on him as Australia’s final competitor. Needing a clear round of jumping, he knocked two rails.
Burton admitted disappointment, but it was a solid effort for Australia to finish third, behind gold medallists France and second-placed Germany.
“I am disappointed — I can say that,’’ said Burton. “We have had a great time in Rio — I led the Olympic show jumping coming into the last day and that won’t be something I will forget in a hurry.”
In another Australian highlight of day four, swimmers Kyle Chalmers and Cameron McEvoy qualified second and third fastest for Thursday’s 100m freestyle final. Australia has not won the event in four years, but the Aussie duo have signalled they will put pressure on fastest qualifier, American Nathan Adrian.