Batlow rugby sevens star Sharni Williams has revealed her devastation at the Australian team's early exit from the Olympic Games.
The Aussie women's rugby sevens team bowed out in the quarter final stage when they suffered their first ever loss to Fiji.
Australia's quest for back-to-back gold medals was made more difficult after they lost their last group game, to USA, 14-12.
That set up a clash with the Fijians in the quarter-finals, where the Australians experienced another 14-12 loss.
Williams, the Australian co-captain, took to social media on Tuesday to sum up her thoughts after a second Olympic Games experience.
"Rugby is a game for all, an inclusive game, a game that allows us to be who we truly are. And my truth is, I'm gutted," Williams posted on Instagram.
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Rugby is a game for all, an inclusive game, a game that allows us to be who we truly are. And my truth is, I'm gutted. This was not the result we'd envisioned.Australian co-captain Sharni Williams
"This was not the result we'd envisioned. A five year cycle, the postponement of the Olympics. The hard work, refocus, choices, limited tournaments and facing the constant unknown are some of the moments we've had to face.
"We had a tough day two, losing by two points in both games. We just weren't good enough."
Williams reflected on the positives out of the whole experience.
"I'm so grateful to get to play this amazing sport on the world stage, but along with that comes the highs and lows, and you the people supporting us, and not, ride those emotions with us and against us," she wrote.
"I'm so very proud of this team and the resilience they showed after the disappointment of no longer being in contention for a medal, let alone defending our Rio gold.
"If you can, jump into our boots of emotion for a moment and try to imagine how you'd show up the next day to play. These girls showed up; for themselves, their country and their why."
Australia reversed their earlier loss to USA, defeating the Americans 17-7 to finish in fifth place.
New Zealand, who defeated Australia for the Commonwealth Games gold in 2018, went on to win the gold medal, defeating France 26-12 in the decider.
Fiji, who knocked the Aussies out, went on to claim the bronze medal with a 21-12 victory over Great Britain.
Williams thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Australian Olympic Committee (AOC), World Rugby and Tokyo, for staging the games.
She also congratulated all teams on their performances and becoming Olympians for their respective countries.
The 33-year-old returns home a proud two-time Olympian.
She led Australia to a historic gold medal in Rio in 2016 and has forged an exceptional career at international level.
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