Sophie Pascoe has finished the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with four medals after ending her campaign with a fifth-place finish in the S9 100m butterfly.
Pascoe had spoken before these Games about being underprepared due to a lack of international competition during the pandemic, and had mentioned during the week her respect for the younger generation coming behind her.
It appeared those two factors combined to squeeze her off the podium in her final event, seeing her fall just short of her 20th Paralympic Games medal.
"I just gave it everything. You can tell by the programme and the training that I've done over the past year, I just didn't have it in the last 25m. All respect to those girls out there, they've obviously done the work and had a bit more than I did for the final," Pascoe told TVNZ after the race.
"It's pretty gut-wrenching right now, but it is what it is. All I can say is that I left it all out there."
The 28-year-old flew out of the blocks to hold a lead of over a second at the turn, but as was the case in Wednesday night's 200m individual medley final, the final 50m saw her slow down considerably and her 19-year-old Hungarian counterpart Zsofia Konkoly closed the gap.
While Pascoe held on to claim her fourth consecutive 200m IM gold ahead of Konkoly on Wednesday, it wasn't the case in the butterfly. With a time of 38.78 for her final 50m, compared to Konkoly's 34.89, Pascoe was passed inside the final 20m and touched the wall 0.88 seconds outside of the medals.
Konkoly won the race with a new Paralympic Games record time of 1:06:55, ahead of USA's Elizabeth Smith (1:08:22) and Spain's Sarai Gascon (1:08:43). Pascoe finished the race with a time of 1:09:31.
"[The last 25m] was really hard," said Pascoe. "You can probably tell from the footage, I wasn't moving much and that's where I just need to work on the kick and the stroke rate, and I just didn't have it.
"I've got a lot more work to do, but with the past year and even being here, doing the programme that I did, getting what I have achieved throughout this meet, it's been a journey and a half."
5.20pm: Hills finishes sixth in miserable conditions
Para-cyclist Stephen Hills has concluded his Games with a creditable sixth in the men's T1-2 road race.
Hills, who finished eighth in the time trial on Tuesday, withstood miserable conditions at the Fuji International Speedway to cross in a time of 54:13, coming home 3:06 behind winner Jianxin Chen of China.
Fellow Kiwi Eltje Malzbender was unfortunately unable to finish in the women's T1-2 race, an event that saw Canadian Marie-Eve Croteau and Australia's Carol Cooke crash out in the driving rain.
2.50pm: Murray finishes 6th in road race
A brave ride from Nicole Murray in dangerously wet conditions has failed to produce a medal for the Te Awamutu cyclist in the C4-5 road race.
The race proved another triumph for British sporting legend Sarah Storey.
German Kerstin Brachtendorf had dominated the 80km race at the Fuji International speedway with Murray in a group of five chasers including Storey.
Storey, 43, won by seven seconds over fellow Brit Crystal Lane-Wright, with the 49-year-old German fading out of the medals having done so much solo work at the front.
Murray, who battled technically at times on the wet course, finished sixth about three-and-a-half minutes behind the winner.
2.30pm: Martlew into canoe final
Scott Martlew of Christchurch - at his second Paralympics - has gone straight through to tomorrow's canoe KL2 final by winning his heat.
The 28-year-old set his sights on the Paralympics after a rugby accident led to a lifesaving leg amputation, made necessary by a bacterial infection.
He is looking to add to world championship silver and bronze medals. Winning the heat meant he does not have to race in the semifinals tomorrow, meaning he is well rested for the final.
Later in the day, Martlew struggled in his VL3 heat which was won by Aussie star Curtis McGrath. As with all the heat non-winners, Martlew goes into Saturday's semifinals in the outrigger canoe event.
Aucklander Corbin Hart was off the pace in his KL3 200m canoe heat and goes into the semifinals.