Kareena Lee picked up Australia's first-ever Olympic marathon swimming medal successful the women's 10km connected Wednesday, claiming bronze successful a immense effort at Tokyo.
The 27-year-old stayed successful interaction with the leaders for the entirety of the contention earlier picking up the gait with conscionable implicit a thigh to spell and moved into 3rd spot connected the last crook to decorativeness successful a clip 18.104.22.168.
Things looked ominous erstwhile Lee was 10th with conscionable 2km left, yet she stormed location and finished lone 1.7 seconds down Brazilian golden medallist Ana Marcela Cunha, with Rio 2016 champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of The Netherlands taking silver.
"It's conscionable amazing. My archetypal Olympics. Coming distant with a medal, I'm truthful stoked, it's unbelievable," Lee said aft the race.
"Qualifying successful 2019 was perfectly amazing. Now it's been a two-year travel since then.
"I've been truly moving connected my velocity due to the fact that I cognize it's ever accelerated astatine the extremity and you're gonna person to person that small spot astatine the end.
"It wounded so, truthful bad, but you person to deliberation that everybody astir you is hurting excessively and it is who tin wounded the astir and coming retired 3rd contiguous is unthinkable for me."
The 27-year-old, who was overlooked for Rio 2016 but qualified for Tokyo 2020 astir 2 years ago, was consecutive connected the telephone to her 82-year-old manager successful Noosa aft the swim.
"That was my manager John Rodgers, oregon JR. He couldn't question with us, truthful it was truly peculiar to beryllium capable to speech to him consecutive away," Lee said.
"He's conscionable truthful stoked, helium watched the full happening connected TV.
"I person specified astonishing assemblage astir maine successful Noosa, wherever I unrecorded successful Pacific Paradise, it's incredible. They're each successful lockdown astatine the moment, truthful glued to the TV.
"I cognize that my nieces successful Terrigal would person been glued to the TV too, truthful hullo to them!"
All the competitors faced arduous conditions, waking astatine 3am section clip this greeting for an aboriginal 6.30am commencement owed to precocious h2o temperatures successful Tokyo.
There were concerns if the contention started immoderate aboriginal the h2o somesthesia would transcend the 31-degree limit. The contention started successful 29-degree water.
Lee had considered retiring from the athletics aft her 2016 miss and astir missed retired connected the Olympics again owed to complications successful a qualifying event.
"I got pulled retired of the h2o successful the end, premix of dehydration, I was a spot sick. That resulted successful a infirmary trip," she said.
"I got different accidental astatine qualifying and I came retired 2nd champion successful Australia there. So I missed that. I knew I conscionable had to enactment my caput down and effort my hardest for the adjacent one."
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