Quentin Rew performed right up to his best in securing 12th place in the strength-sapping 50km walk today.
The 81 starters struck particularly brutal conditions. Rio turned on one of its hottest days of the Olympics and no less than 19 of the walkers withdrew, most unable to cope with the heat. Another 143were disqualified for technical infractions.
Rew's time was 3h 49min 32s. The race was won by Slovakian strongman Matej Toth, who kept up an incredible pace for 3h 40min 58s.
Rew, who may have benefited from his earlier outing in Rio in the men’s 20km walk, said he was pleased with how he handled the tough conditions today.
He said he finished ahead of some good athletes by being able to push on over the last stages when the conditions were taking their toll.
The New Zealander was within a minute of his personal best for 50km, no mean performance given the pressure of an Olympics and the conditions the walkers faced.
In the women's 20km walk later in the day, Aucklander Alana Barber finished 35th in 1h 35min 55s. The race was won by Hong Liu of China in 1 20.24s.
Barber, 29, was among big field of 74. She was 15th in the world championships in Beijing last year in a time of 1h 33min 20s.