Jake Robertson's journey at the World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, Korea, got a second lease of life after he was added to the final of the 5000m.
Requiring to finish in the first five to qualify for the final, the 21-year-old finished 12th in 13m 53.57s, 15 seconds behind the winner of his heat, Imane Merga of Ethiopia.
Coming off the track Robertson said that it was a pretty rough race. "It was too slow from the start. Everyone was pushing, I got clipped from the inside, there was no need for that, I wasn't cutting in."
Then just before the 2000m mark he was pushed from behind, which put him off stride and with 800m to run he almost tripped.
"That's when I really dropped off, I clipped my knees and sort of had a dead leg. I was in a qualifying position until the last 800m," he said.
New Zealand team manager Raylene Bates requested a review of the tape of the race and the track referee had no hesitation in adding Robertson to the final.
"Once the referee saw the tape and saw that Jake was pushed from behind at 2000m by the Japanese runner [Kazuya Watanabe] he put him straight into the final. We didn't have to lodge a protest," said Bates.
Before learning that he was in the final Robertson said that he was improving every year.
"It's great to represent my country. I hope to do it again at the Olympics and I hope to be a threat yet," he said.
Robertson who lives and trains in Kenya said that background had helped him considerably.
"In fact my training partner in Kenya, Eliud Kipchoge was in the race, I tried to follow him but I had to adjust to my race plan," he said.
Robertson will now get a second chance to follow Kipchoge who qualified after finishing fourth in the heat in 13m 39.02s.
New Zealand's other entrant in the 5000m Adrian Blincoe did not start in the heats after injuring a calf muscle in training at the athletes' village track two days ago.
Meanwhile, Nikki Hamblin narrowly missed qualifying for the semifinals of the 800m.
Coming back from her disappointment of falling in the heats of the 1500m three days ago, Hamblin was within striking distance of finishing in the first four to qualify, but a couple of runners came fast on the outside and she finished fifth in a season's best of 2m 2.87s.
Hamblin finished 25th out of 35 who contested the five heats.
Hamblin said that she knew it was going to be hard.
"It's really tough for me, I'm not a speed runner I'm a strength runner, my strength comes through in the further rounds or the further distance you go.
"I think I did the best I could, I was there and then in the last 10m I wasn't there," she said.
The 23-year-old said that the past few days had been pretty terrible.
"My head was in the 1500m, my heart was in the 1500m, I came back and tried to get my head together.
"I guess you always have to look at your glass is half full, after the 1500m I had another option and opportunity to do something but, obviously, it didn't quite come out."
At least, said Hamblin, she got the chance to compete at a world championships.
"I ran two races, I'm better off than some people in our team, Adrian Blincoe tore his calf a couple of days ago - what a disaster, he's gone home no race at all.
"I've got time. I'm 23 and hopefully there's many more opportunities, many more races in front of me," said Hamblin.