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Meares lauds Australian Olympians at home-coming event

A Brazilian dancer performs on stage during an official welcome home for Australia's Olympic athletes including opening ceremony flag bearer, track cyclist Anna Meares (bottom R) upon their return from Rio at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed
A Brazilian dancer performs on stage during an official welcome home for Australia's Olympic athletes including opening ceremony flag bearer, track cyclist Anna Meares (bottom R) upon their return from Rio at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Track cyclist Anna Meares praised the efforts of the Australian Olympic team during a welcome home ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on Monday, despite a disappointing overall showing in Brazil.

Australia's 422 athletes amassed 29 medals in Rio, their lowest total since the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, with Meares claiming bronze in the keirin after failing to add a third gold to those she won in Athens in 2004 and London four years ago.

"For some, we came home with personal bests and for some, we fell agonisingly short. But for all who arrived in Rio, we reached to achieve something great," said Meares, Australian team captain and flag-bearer in Rio.

The ceremony ended with a performance by a Japanese drumming group to set the tone for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

(Reporting by Jill Gralow; Editing by Patrick Johnston/John O'Brien)

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