She has had time to reflect on the disappointment of missing out on an Olympic medal, but Rotorua rower Julia Edward isn't looking too far ahead.

Two-time world champions, Edward and Sophie Mackenzie finished an agonising fourth place in the lightweight women's double sculls in Rio earlier in the week.

"Yes, we are disappointed to miss out on a medal. Our goal was to make top three," said Edward. "But looking back now, I'm so proud of what Sophie and I have achieved together. Over three seasons as a combination we have become two-time world champions and come fourth in an Olympic final."

Preparation for the Games was as good as it could have been, said Edward.


"We had a solid build up leading in, we were doing top speeds that we haven't seen before. We felt mentally and physically our strongest, it's just the nature of the Olympic Games - anything can happen."

Poor weather played havoc with the rowing schedule, with the lightweight sculls final delayed, but that worked in the Kiwis' favour

"If anything the weather delays were to our advantage because being natural lightweights we were able to weigh in every day comfortably without having to sweat out each day."

Edward is now looking forward to three months off, and has plans to sunbathe with a cocktail on a beach in Hawaii.

"It has been a great experience here in Rio. It's quite a lot different to London. I've enjoyed both games for different reasons. The team has learnt a lot from this regatta especially the younger athletes getting an Olympic experience. It has strengthened our team as a whole for the next cycle."

Mackenzie and Edward produced a flying start to the lightweight sculls final, but faded and struggled to catch the leaders. A huge push at the 1500m mark saw the duo regain some ground, but it wasn't enough.

The New Zealanders crossed the line five seconds behind the winning crew and world best time holders Ilse Paulis and Maaike Head from the Netherlands.