Bronte led at the turn and was under world record time but faded considerably in the final 25m.

It is a cruel blow for the sisters whose times (53.04 and 53.24) were well under their best.

The pair were trumped by American Simone Manuel and Canadian Penny Olesiak (52.70) who finished tied for gold in Olympic record time.

Cate said she left everything in the pool.

“That hurt, but not as much as it hurts right now,” she said.

“I didn’t need gold for self-worth. This shouldn’t change how you should feel about me.

“I still have the 50m to go.”

Bronte said she was just happy to have shared the world stage with her sister.

“I got to swim an Olympic final with my sister,” she said.

“It is not about winning.

“We laid everything out there and (the result) is nothing to be ashamed of.”