In just the second full marathon of her career, NSWIS distance star Milly Clark has finished an incredible 18th in Rio.
Clark was the first to finish of the three Australians with a time of two hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds.
It was the fifth best placing by an Australian at an Olympics Games.
“First Olympics, top 20, it hasn’t really sunk in. I think it will when I see my family and my coach and everyone else,” Clark told the AOC website.
“Before I came over I did set a goal. I usually make my gold, silver and bronze goal. And the gold goal was to come top 20 and that was going to be the most amazing thing, and silver would be top 25.”
“I’m absolutely exhausted but at the same time I’m so proud of not just myself but the other girls.
“We all running together for that whole race and it was awesome, I really enjoyed the whole thing.”
The marathon featured 141 competitors from 80 nations.
There was extreme disappointment at the Olympic Stadium for NSWIS long-jumper Fabrice Lapierre as his gold medal dream failed to take off.
Considered one of the leading hopes to win the men’s long jump, Lapierre registered just one legal jump from his three attempts and was eliminated from the final.
It was a sad end to a promising campaign. Lapierre’s first and third jumps soared well beyond the eight metre line, only to be called as fouls.
His second leap, 7.87m, was not enough to maintain his place in the competition, eliminating him from medal contention.
His 10th place finish came after an outstanding build-up to Rio. He came into the Olympics with a season best of 8.31m and silver medal finishes at both the world indoor championships and last year’s athletics world championships.
“It sucks,” Lapierre told the AOC website.
“You’ve got to get on that board. I’m pretty sure I would have jumped the furthest tonight but I just didn’t get on the board, I fouled, and it hurts.”
“I’m sure I could have had a really big jump but you’ve got to get on the board and I didn’t do that today, so I didn’t get it done.”
In a race memorable for Mo Farah’s gold medal winning performance following a fall, NSWIS runner Ben St Lawrence finished 28th in the men’s 10,000m.
He fell back from the main bunch at the 3000m mark but went on to run a time of 28:46.32.
There is plenty to look forward to for NSWIS athletes at the Olympic Stadium.
Today (AEST) Anneliese Rubie (400m) and Jenny Blundell (1500m) are both in semi-final action after securing their spot in the heats.
Later tonight (AEST) Madeline Hills competes in the final of the 3000m steeplechase. It will be the first time an Australian has ever run for a medal in the event.
Ella Nelson competes in the heats of the 200m while Brandon Starc will also make his Olympic debut in the men’s high jump.