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Meares Bows Out In Title Defence

A tearful Anna Meares has ended her Olympic title defence and possibly her decorated cycling career.

Australia's flagbearer has finished 10th in the women's sprint, the event she won in London, but leaves Rio with a bronze medal from the keirin.

When she lost her second-round repechage on Monday, consigning her to a ride-off for ninth to 12th, Meares tearfully hugged riders, coaches and staff from Australia and rival countries.

After four Games, Meares has not yet made a decision on her future but is likely to call an end to an Olympic career that has brought two gold, a silver and three bronze medals.

Meanwhile, Australia's teams keep crashing out of the Olympics, with women's water polo and hockey both knocked out in quarter finals on Monday.

The water polo women suffered Australia's second penalty shootout heartbreak in Rio, following the soccer team's dramatic loss to Brazil last week.

Australia and Hungary were locked at 8-8 at fulltime, but the Hungarians won the shootout 5-4 after Australian captain Bronwen Knox missed her shot.

The Hockeyroos have followed the men out of the Games in the quarter-finals, going down 4-2 to arch rival New Zealand.

"It's very disappointing for our girls considering we played some really good hockey but when it comes down to these games, you've got to be at your best or you get punished," skipper Madonna Blyth said.

Australia's guaranteed sailing medal on Monday was put on hold when the final race of the Laser was cancelled due to a lack of wind.

Tom Burton goes into the medal race in second place, 10 points behind Tonci Stipanovic, but needs to finish five places ahead of the Croatian to snatch the gold.

Australia's 49er sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have put themselves back into medal contention, climbing to third overall after three good races on Monday.

But, at 33 points behind New Zealand leaders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, the best they could hope for is silver.

Australians Madeline Heiner-Hills and Genevieve LaCaze both finished in the top 10 in the women's 3000m steeplechase.

The first Australians to reach an Olympic final in the event, Heiner-Hills finished seventh and LaCaze was ninth.

Australia has been stuck on six gold medals for two days and sits in ninth place on the medals table.


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