Pharmacist and Olympian Madeline Hills beat her personal best and made the top 10 in the women’s Olympic steeplechase final.
Hills, a graduate of the University of Sydney, clocked a time of nine minutes, 20.38 seconds to come seventh.
Hills and teammate Genevieve LaCaze, who came ninth were the first two Australians ever to qualify for the final.
Hills took more than a second off her personal best and said she gave the race her all, collapsing over the finish line in sweltering conditions.
“After the heat (run) I had no response whatsoever until I saw my husband and burst into tears and it was just hey, I’m not going to be standing there wondering where I would have finished,” Hills told media after the race.
“We decided if I finished last in this race and I tried really hard I’d be more than happy with that.
“I had to collapse over the line, I think that may be my first collapse over the line moment, so that’s a breakthrough in itself.”
The steeplechase event is a combination of running and jumping obstacles across 35 barriers; seven of these are water jumps.
“The idea is to jump as much water as you can, it’s about keeping in a rhythm and not being too distracted by the barriers when they come along and to keep the momentum going,” Hills told Sydney University Sport and Fitness magazine.
“But the main skill is running.”
Hills has also qualified for the final of the 5000 metres, due to be run on Saturday, 20 August.