TRI HARD: Triathlete Emma Moffatt heads to the sands of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach after finishing the swim leg of the Olympic triathlon.
TRI HARD: Triathlete Emma Moffatt heads to the sands of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach after finishing the swim leg of the Olympic triathlon. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Rio might've been Emma's last hurrah

SHE'S been to the Olympics three times but after finishing sixth in the women's triathlon in Rio at the weekend, proud Woolgoolga girl Emma Moffatt is 99% sure she won't be racing in the Olympics a fourth time in Tokyo in 2020.

"I don't think there's another Olympics in the plan but I thought that after London as well," Moffatt told the ABC post-race.

"You never know but I think what got me through this was knowing that it was going to be my last."

The 31-year-old was in medal contention for the majority of the race.

For most of the swim leg Moffatt was in third spot but drifted back through the field slightly towards the end of it.

She left the water in 10th position but only six seconds behind the leader.

Early in the 40km bike leg it became clear that there was a lead pack of 18 triathletes with a large gap to the chasing pack.

The bike leg was eight 5km laps that included one very steep climb for the triathletes to conquer.

Each lap Moffatt would get up to about ninth or 10th but would drop back to the rear of the pack on the hill climb before catching up again each time.

At the end of the bike leg she was in 11th but only one second behind the leaders.

"My main worry from last year's test event was going up and down that hill and I felt like I didn't nail it every time but I went through smoothly and I didn't lose the pack," she told Channel 7.

"That was going to be my undoing today but I was really glad when I got off the bike and I was in the front pack."

The moment that set up the excellent result was Moffatt's really quick change from the bike to 10km run leg.

American and pre-race favourite Gwen Jorgensen was out in front with Nicola Spirig from Switzerland shadowing her every move.

Moffatt came out alongside Great British pair of Vicky Holland and Non Stanford as well as Chilean Bárbara Riveros Díaz in a battle for the bronze.

"It's nice to get through that transition without getting tangled up with anyone else," she said.

"To get out there and practically get a start on everyone else, it's a nice feeling and a good set up for the run."

After keeping with chase pack early in the run, Moffatt was unable to keep up with the pace of the British pair who broke away.

Moffatt finished a minute and 39 seconds behind gold medallist Jorgensen and 54 seconds behind Holland who won the bronze.

She finished 20 seconds ahead of Andrea Hewitt from Mew Zealand who finished seventh.

While she didn't claim a medal to match the bronze she won in Beijing eight years ago, Moffatt was still satisfied with her performance.

"I'm really happy with sixth," she said.

"Running down the finish line I had a smile on my face as though I won but I didn't but I'm really happy with sixth."

While Moffatt has all but ruled out training for another four years with a spot on team for Tokyo in mind, it's still unknown whether or not she'll continue in the elite World Triathlon Series next year.

Moffatt said she's still enjoying triathlons and will leave her options open for now.

"There's ups and downs along the road but I think most of the time I just love the sport," she said.

"I enjoy getting up and going to training and pushing myself.

"I have a great group of training partners back home that just make it easy for me.

"I kept myself on the Gold Coast for my whole preparation and I think that makes it easier. Going to three Olympics is hard but it's been enjoyable."

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