WA bobsled athletes Lucas Mata and David Mari have
wrapped up their 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics campaign with a 25th ranked
effort in the four man discipline.
The quartet, piloted by Mata, were unsuccessful in their
bid to make the top 20 and earn a fourth run of the Winter Games, but Mata said
the boys left everything they had on the track at the Alpensia Sliding Centre.
"Yeah we pushed as best we could. I drove probably
the best run I've done this season," Mata said.
"We can't be upset with that. The boys are pumped up
and we're fired up so it's really good to end on that note."
With a total time of 02:29.7 seconds across the three
runs, the Aussies finished just over three seconds behind Germany's
frontrunners who were piloted by Francesco Friedrich.
Despite not achieving his top 20 goal, Mata said his
second Olympic experience left his Sochi 2014 debut for dead, describing his
2018 campaign as "phenomenal."
"The team vibe has been tenfold to what it was last
time and I'm just happy all around.
"I am feeling proud. We had a tough six months, but
this has been the best bobsleigh year I've ever had so I'm happy."
Before committing to another Olympic cycle, Mata said he
would have to consult with his fiancé.
"Might have to talk to the misses about that. I
"I want to continue but I don't know what avenue I
want to take whether it's coaching or continuing as an athlete for another four
years. We will have to reflect and we don't know what's going to happen."
Jessica Yeaton was the final Australian in action at
PyeongChang, with the cross-country skier recording a 42nd effort in the women’s
30km Mass Start Classic.
Yeaton – who enjoyed a busy schedule on Olympic debut –
clocked a time of 1:40:54.8 over the gruelling course, with the gold medal
awarded to race winner Marit Bjoergen of Norway. Finland’s Krista Parmakowski
was second, ahead of bronze medallist Stina Nilsson of Sweden.
Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman commended the Australian
team as the best he has experienced, a bold call given his personal association
ranges back to Lillehammer 1994.
"This is the best Australian winter team I have ever
taken away in terms of the quality of the people and the performances they have
given,” Chesterman said.
"Our results on the field of play have been outstanding,
and each member has represented their country with distinction – it is a team
the whole country can be proud of. We’ve matched the number of medals
previously won, and demonstrated a depth of elite results that we have not seen
"We had a total of 12 medals before these games, with
five athletes having won two each.”
"Now we have a new era. For the first time we have three
new medal winners at one Games. Our medallists are 22, 23 and 23 – and we can
expect all to be back in Beijing in 2022.”
Chesterman was also effusive in his praise for Korea’s
organisation and hosting of the 2018 Winter Games.
"PyeongChang must be congratulated for putting on a
wonderful Olympic Winter Games. Everything worked, the Koreans were so friendly
and helpful, and the venues were superb,” he said.