THE pain of a dislocated shoulder after full-time wasn’t enough to dampen the spirit of Ryley Batt in Rio.
Batt and the Australian Steelers claimed back-to-back gold medals with a double overtime 59-58 victory over the United States on Monday.
He changed a total of 12 tyres throughout the match as the Aussie star came under plenty of attention.
“I was getting double and triple teamed and they were almost snipering my tyres,” he said.
“Whenever I changed a tyre it became slippery on my hands so it was a real mentally tough game for me.”
In a match that has been labelled the best wheelchair rugby match of all time, Batt was on his back and in a lot of pain when the final siren sounded.
“At the end of the game I copped a cheap shot from one of the US guys and dislocated my shoulder,” he said.
“But it doesn’t mean anything because I don’t have to train for a couple of months so the shoulder pain can stay and I just want to celebrate with my team.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Steelers after they led by three goals midway through the fourth and final quarter.
But the ebb and flow of a gold medal match saw the 27-year-old come up with a couple of unforced errors which allowed the US back into the game.
He said the success of London 2012 had been overtaken by the ability to back up the performance of four years ago.
“This one is sweeter; defending a gold medal is the ultimate and it hasn’t sunk in yet,” Batt said.
“We wanted to win in regulation time, but you’ll take a win any way any day.”
Batt said it was the second-best day of his life.
“I told Fox News that it was the best day of my life so I had to have a chat with my wife after that and apologise for that,” he said.
The support Batt had received from his home town hadn’t gone unnoticed.
“Port Macquarie is on my mind all the time,” he said.
“I’ve got a pair of lucky shoes under my chair that I have which I touch especially in crucial moments,” he said.
“When I do that I think of Port and the family and friends back home.”
He said it wasn’t only his or the Steelers gold medal.
“It’s the second gold medal I’ve not only brought back for the team, but also for Port Macquarie.”
Batt will return to the Hastings later in the week.
“I’m looking forward to getting home and giving the family a cuddle and catching up with everyone because Port Macquarie has given me so much,” he said.
“The support I’ve gotten on Facebook is unbelievable and the amount of people who got up and watched at 1.30 in the morning is astonishing.”