A plucky NZ 4x200m freestyle relay team have broken the national record, but couldn't force their way into their final at the London Olympics.
Racing without top freestyler Lauren Boyle, who withdrew to concentrate on her upcoming 800m event, the quartet of Tash Hind, Sam Lucie-Smith, Amaka Gessler and Melissa Ingram were always battling to qualify for the next stage, sitting in fourth or fifth throughout their heat.
But their time of 7m 55.92s was more than half a second faster than the previous national mark set with Boyle on board, so the combo can hold their heads high.
Hind led off with a 1m 58.79s leg and had the team in fourth at the first change. Lucie-Smith clocked a 1m 58.89s split, followed by Gessler's 1m 59.03s and a 1m 59.21s anchor leg from backstroke specialist Melissa Ingram.
Australia were top qualifiers for the final with 7m 49.44s, followed by the United States (7m 50.75s). Japan were the slowest qualifiers with 7m 54.56s.
Meanwhile, backstroker Gareth Kean has missed out on a place in the semifinals of the 200m after posting a disappointing 29th-fastest time in the heats.
The 20-year-old Wellingtonian was eighth in his heat in a time of 2m 00.54s, more than three seconds outside his New Zealand record set at the national championships in March.
Kean, who made the semifinals of the 100m event, was fifth
through the first 50m, before fading over the next three