When Australian Games rookie Kate Doughty made history in the first Paralympic triathlon in Rio, she wasn’t alone.
When Kate Doughty contested the first triathlon in Paralympic history in Rio, there was someone with her every step, stroke and pedal.
The 33-year-old Australian has a tattoo of a dragonfly on her wrist in memory of her mother, who died from breast cancer six years ago.
"I just knew she would be with me the whole time coming into this race," Doughty said as tears flowed.
"I was emotional before I started so I'm lucky I didn't just melt in the race. I'm just so proud to be here."
It was an achievement nearly 20 years in the making, in an entirely different sport to what Doughty had first envisaged.
"I've been wanting to come to the Paralympics and compete, and I thought I'd be doing it on a horse. So doing it on my own legs was a shock," Doughty said.
The Victorian rider, who was born without her right hand, set a goal to make a Games while watching the Sydney 2000 equestrian events.
Her mother used to ride horses as a kid, and following in her footsteps Doughty made it to the international stage, competing at the world championships in 2010.
"That was the pinnacle of my career in equestrian, and she passed away three months later," Doughty said.
"Not to have her there was really tough."
Doughty needed a fresh start, and made the switch to para-triathlon in late 2014.
She was coming third until the final leg of the women's inaugural PT4 para-triathlon on Rio's Copacabana beach, but couldn't hold on and was relegated to fifth.
Doughty said she had a "ripper swim" but couldn't find her legs until the second lap of the bike phase, before losing ground in the run which is her weakest link.
"Trust me, I had nothing left in the tank," she said.
"I've been in the sport less than two years and I'm still not at my full potential. Bring on Tokyo."