The men's speedskating pursuit team missed out on a medal at the Winter Olympics last night when they were pipped in the final lap of their semifinal race against South Korea.

The New Zealand trio would have been guaranteed a medal if they had upset the hosts but left PyeongChang empty-handed after losing their bronze medal race to the Netherlands.

Here's a look at other Kiwis who have missed out on an Olympic or Commonwealth Games medal with a piece of history within their grasp.

Women's Black Sticks – 2012 Olympics
The Black Sticks were 17 minutes away from booking a spot in the gold medal match at the 2012 London Olympics. The twice held a lead over the favoured Dutch side with Maartje Paumen twice equalizer for the defending Olympic champions. A potential Katie Glynn match-winner hit the post before Netherlands won the penalty shoot-out 3-1. The Dutch went onto win gold once again, New Zealand lost the bronze medal match to the hosts 3-1.


Four years later in Rio the Black Sticks once again lost both their semifinal and the bronze medal match to leave Brazil without a medal.

Sarah Ulmer – 2000 Olympics
0.08 of a second. That's how close the individual pursuit rider was from winning her bronze medal ride at the Sydney Olympics. Ulmer, who was 24 at the time, was comprehensively beaten in the semifinals by eventual gold medalist Leontien Zijlaard of the Netherlands. That set up a bronze medal race against Great Britain's Yvonne McGregor with the Brit just edging out the Kiwi. Ulmer did get her hands on a medal four years later – a gold after setting a world record in the gold medal ride.

Sylvia Potts – 1970 Commonwealth Games
Potts was a New Zealand champion across six different events but unfortunately she's best known for falling just short of the finish line in the 1500m final in Edinburgh. Potts was leading the race up the final straight but ran out of legs two metres shy of the post. She eventually finished in ninth place and the moment now lives on YouTube under the headline 'Massive Fail! Runner falls over the line'.

Craig Barrett – 1998 Commonwealth Games
The Kiwi racewalker looked to have gold wrapped up in the 50km walk in Kaula Lumpur. He went out to a blistering pace and was in gold medal position with a kilometer remaining before the Malaysian heat got the best of him and he collapsed of dehydration.

Local Govindasamy Saravanan went onto win the race with Aussies Duane Cousins and Dominic McGrath also making the medal dais. Barrett returned to the Commonwealth games four years later and earned a silver in the 50km event.

New Zealand eventing team – 2016 Olympics
When Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II entered the Rio Olympic team showjumping ring in Rio, a clear round would have given the New Zealand eventing team a maiden gold medal from nine attempts over 32 years.

Those dreams were shattered by a brutal denouement involving his four dropped rails.
Three rails would have earned at least a bronze. Instead the New Zealand team left empty-handed.