Despite missing out on a medal, Ireland’s Natalya Coyle has said she is delighted with her performance in Rio.
The modern pentathlete finished in seventh place and told said that if someone had told her beforehand that was where she’d end up she would have been delighted.
“I haven’t had the world’s best season coming into this, and I knew I was peaking for it,” the 25-year-old said.
“I improved on London and that was my goal – to come out with all personal bests today and I’ve definitely done that so I’m delighted.”
Coyle had finished in ninth place four years ago at her first Olympics, meaning today’s seventh place shows progress at work.
Chloe Esposito won gold for Australia, 16 seconds clear of France’s Elodie Clouvel, both overtaking long-time leader Oktawia Nowacka of Poland on the final lap.
A clear round in the show jumping section – where contestants ride an unknown horse – saw Coyle move from 12th place up to sixth ahead of the final run/shoot event.
Of riding a new horse in the biggest event of her life, Coyle said “it’s so terrifying, I’m not going to lie.
Today was the most relaxed I’ve been. It was a really tight time so I knew I had to take some inside lines.
“I saw the girl before me fall off and that got me a little nervous, knowing I had to ride that horse.
“I heard the crowd going afterwards and I was delighted.”
While the final run/shoot event saw Coyle slip away from the medal positions, she still showed trademark grit and determination to hold on to seventh place.
“I actually didn’t know what position I was. I was thinking I just need to stick to my process.
“I had a wobbly third shoot but I nailed the last one and I just gave it socks as much as I could.
“On the last lap I was giving it my best. There was an Italian close to me and I was like ‘I’m not letting her overtake me’.”