It's been a black few days for Rowing New Zealand.
New Zealand's best funded Olympic sport, built on significant, sustained success at both Olympic and world championship level, took a nasty tumble at the world championships which ended in Bulgaria last weekend.
The squad won just three medals over 13 Olympic-class disciplines, and none of them gold. It was the poorest return since 2003.
But their basic funding won't be hurt as they set their sights on the Tokyo Games in 2020. If you are a tier 1 sport that's the way it works. So rowing, cycling, sailing and athletics can bank on certainty in an important part of their planning for the next Olympic event.
For two of those four, rowing and cycling, there have been reviews undertaken into aspects of their programmes.
Rowing's longtime high performance coach Alan Cotter has quit; cycling's sprint coach Anthony Peden has gone in the midst of a potentially damning review into elements of the sport's culture.
So are these four justifying their elevated levels of support from the Government funding arm, High Performance Sport New Zealand?
If you are most of the other Olympic sports you'd likely be looking askance at some of them. How they must wish for even a drop of that funding to help them get to overseas events, from which they could have a chance of taking a step up the ladder.
The problem is they have to prove they are worthy of funding; to do that they have to get to major events, then get results. It's called Catch 22.
Start with rowing. RNZ chief executive Simon Peterson wasn't shying away from the grim return in Bulgaria but is adamant the sport is on track for Tokyo.
"Obviously we're not thrilled with the outcome in terms of three medals," he said.
"But we were the highest ranked country in making A finals on a percentage basis — no country made more than us; we just didn't convert those into medals."
RNZ are aiming to deliver five medals in Tokyo. That was a forecast made after the Rio Olympics of 2016 when the application for funding to 2020 was presented. The sport produced three in 2016, and two of those were the bankers of pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, and single sculling titan Mahe Drysdale.
However this month's results aren't inducing any panic.
"Absolutely not. It's not what we wanted but we're tracking in a good direction," said Peterson, who pointed out the funding also covers under 23 and junior programmes from where the athletes for the 2024 Paris Olympics will primarily come. Their results were impressive.
Sailing had a lean world championships medals wise — sound familiar? — in Aarhus, Denmark, with two fourth placings, but there is a good sense within the sport that they too are well positioned for Tokyo.
New Zealand have qualified for the Olympics in six of the 10 classes — Laser, Finn, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and men's 470 — which was its objective. Whether Yachting New Zealand get the other four across the line is a moot point, the RS:X boardsailors and Laser Radial, for example, have much work ahead.
"We have set the bar really high and we're determining now what the pinnacle events will be going to Tokyo," YNZ chief executive David Abercrombie said.
They have talked three medals in Tokyo, the same as their pick for Rio, when the sport won four.
Abercrombie believes the sport is in a good place two years out.
"We never take anything for granted. We think we use that money in a very sensible way, and given our results for the year we've actually been pretty consistent.
"Apart from the worlds we have picked up podium finishes at every major regatta, and a couple of golds along the way."
Think athletics and you have Tom Walsh, Val Adams, Nick Willis and Eliza McCartney as the arrowhead. That'll do for starters in Tokyo.
Three of them will go into their events expected to medal, while 1500m man Willis is a renowned championship runner, as distinct from a one-off event athlete, who will be chasing a third Olympic medal.
At this year's world indoor championships — the outdoor version is held every second year, outside Olympic years — Walsh won the shot put; McCartney was a close fourth. So the top end is in good shape.
The next group coming through are also tracking well, with age group success a decent indicator, such as Madison Wesche's victory in the under 20 shot put in Finland in July, and the quality of coaching, often an under-valued element, is strong, according to high performance boss Scott Goodman.
"We're pretty comfortable. Those four are going well, especially Valerie, Tom and Eliza who are still clearly in the top three or four in the world."
Cycling won 17 medals at April's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, a relatively weak event when set alongside the world championships in the Netherlands.
New Zealand sent a smaller team there, and performed poorly, winning a solitary bronze.
It has also had an HPSNZ-led review into aspects of its operation hovering over it. The findings are expected to be made public around October 15.
HPSNZ chief executive Michael Scott said the meetings late this year with the sports will focus solely on performance, not investment.
"Investment decisions are based on four criteria that include past performance. However (they) also consider the broader view of future potential, the quality of the high performance programme and the international sporting context," Scott said.
He said the focus had to be on the process underpinning performance "and the people, culture and environment that can help create a world leading, sustainable high performance system that delivers repeatable outcomes."
Cycling New Zealand, heavily reliant on the public purse, refused to discuss its position for this story.
Four Tier 1 sports receive the highest level of funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand.
• The core investment breakdown gives rowing, cycling, yachting and athletics the lion's share of financial backing.
• Rowing have received $5.1 million this year, and last year; cycling $4.4 million this year, up $200,000 from 2017; sailing $3.8 million, up $100,000 from last year; and athletics $2.75 million, an increase of $150,000.
• The total investment this year is $36.055 million, of which those four have received $16.05 million.
• Seven other sports, or events, receive more than $1 million in funding — equestrian, canoe racing, netball, women's sevens, women's hockey, paralympics and snow sports.