The New Zealand women’s K4 500 kayakers finished fifth in their final today.
The four paddlers – Jaimee Lovett, Aimee Fisher, Kaylie Imrie and Caitlin Ryan – reached the final by winning their semi-final yesterday.
However, in the final they struggled to match the power and speed of the Hungarians and Germans, who set the pace.
Hungary took the gold in 1min 34.482s. New Zealand were timed at 1min 38.198s.
Kayak coach Rene Olsen said she was proud of the team’s fifth placing.
“That was very special. I have a lot of pride in those girls,” she said.
“I knew we had a strong crew that could compete against the best and they showed that in all three races and under much pressure.
“Often you athletes not reach their potential at their first Olympics, but they did.”
Fisher said the key thing was to make sure there was nothing left in the tank afterwards, that everything was left out on the water.
“There wasn’t a medal, but we can be very proud,” Fisher said. “We tried our best. Lisa [Carrington] paved the way for us all and I would like to think we are paving the way for the next generation."
Ryan said it would have been unthinkable 18 months ago that they would have been Olympic finalists.
“We can say we put everything on the line,” she said. “I always want to be with these girls. They have been my life over the past 18 months. We have all sacrificed a lot and we all have each other's backs. I wouldn't want to race with anyone else.”
Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Aimee Fisher Kayla Imrie Caitlin Ryan Jaimee Lovett Canoe/Kayak - Sprint