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Aussie sailor's rough shot turns gold

AAP logoAAP 16/08/2016 By Steve Larkin and Paul Mulvey

Sailor Tom Burton turned a rough shot into a gold medal to help cover other Australian red faces at the Olympic Games.

Burton collected Australia's seventh gold medal and fellow sailors Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin took silver in the Nacra 17 on Tuesday.

Burton needed to finish five places ahead of fleet leader Tonci Stepanovic to pinch an unlikely gold in the Laser class.

Some tactical brilliance at the start left the Croatian floundering and Burton's belief lifted from "one out of 10" to a distinct possibility.

"It couldn't have come off any better, it was perfection, nearly," Burton said.

"The percentage chance I could pull it off was pretty slim.

"For the one move that I needed to come off, to come off, was critical to the race."

Burton worked his way through the fleet to finish third, with Stepanovic in ninth.

Soon after, cousins Waterhouse and Darmanin captured silver, just one point behind Argentina's gold medallists.

Their feats lifted Australia's medal collection in Rio to seven gold, eight silvers and nine bronze after 11 days of competition to sit in ninth place on the medals table.

Burton's triumph came as compatriots stumbled - including serial medallists, the women's basketball team.

The Opals entered their quarter-final undefeated but left in tears after being eliminated by a shock 73-71 loss to world No.14 Serbia.

The Opals leave without an Olympic medal for the first time since 1988.

"We expect more from ourselves and everyone expects more from us," captain Penny Taylor said.

"It hurts to let people down, let ourselves down."

Discus thrower Dani Samuels just missed a medal, finishing fourth in Tuesday's final, while Brandon Starc finished last in the men's high jump final.

"I've come ninth and 11th at my previous Olympics and now fourth. And now I think about it, those positions all suck," Samuels said.

But there was better news at the athletics with Brooke Stratton qualifying for the long jump final and Kathryn Mitchell through to the javelin decider.

And even brighter news for the future came from 22-year-old sprinter Ella Nelson who missed 200m the final by one hundredth of a second when she ran a personal best of 22.50 seconds in the semi.

"I'm lost for words, I just ran a PB at the Olympic Games. That was incredible, that was so much fun, I felt awesome," Nelson told the Seven Network.

Australian marathon swimmer Jarrod Poort also leaves Rio empty-handed: after leading his 10km swim with one kilometre to go, he finished 20th.

Australia's showjumping team bowed out of the Games, though captain Edwina Tops-Alexander and Matt Williams advanced to the third round of the individual competition.

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