Steelers send Aust out on a happy note

Australia's wheelchair rugby team's drought-breaking Paralympic title has ensured the nation achieved its goal of a top five finish.

The Ryley Batt-inspired Steelers crushed Canada 66-51 on Sunday to push Australia's medal tally to 32 gold, 23 silver and 30 bronze medals - the nation's best haul since the 2000 Sydney Games.

Australia ended up one silver behind Ukraine and one gold in front of the United States.

The nation's fifth placing was achieved in no small part by Australia's swimmers with Jacqueline Freney (eight gold medals) the leading individual medallist of the Games.

However it did not all go to plan on the final day.

British wheelchair racing star David Weir ruined Kurt Fearnley's quest for a third straight T54 marathon title by out sprinting the field down The Mall.

Fearnley did his best to chase down Weir but ended up fading to third.

But the story on Sunday for Australia was the Steelers finally winning gold after silvers in Sydney and Beijing.

"We have been playing the game since 1995 and it is the first time we've reached the pinnacle," said national team coach Brad Dubberley.

"To have the team that we have and to come in and win single quarter of our game ... is just a huge result for the whole team."

Dubberley hoped the victory would lift interest levels back home.

"We are getting some great attention back home and hopefully it can just go through the roof and put our Paralympic sport on the map," he said.

After collecting bronze in the marathon, Fearnley vowed to roll on to the 2016 Rio Paralympics despite his leanest return from four Games in London.

"I don't know whether to smile or burst into tears," he said.

"Just exhausted. I don't know whether I feel great or I am about to throw up."

However the veteran was proud of the entire team's achievements.

"This team has been sensational," he said.

"We are a hard working team and I believe the we are the toughest and one of the best exports out of our country."

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