Tim Price produced a compelling cross-country ride to keep New Zealand's medal hopes alive at the three-day equestrian eventing in Tokyo on Sunday.
Price, aboard Vitali, backed up his impressive dressage ride where he scored 25.60 penalty points to sit fifth in the field of 62, to live up to his billing as the world No 2 and lift New Zealand from 13th to fourth in the team standings.
The 42-year-old jumped one spot to fourth in the individual ranks with show jumping, the third discipline, to come on Monday.
New Zealand will need a strong showing if they are to satisfy unfinished business and claim a team medal after finishing fourth in Rio five years ago.
With 104 collective penalty points, New Zealand is chasing France (97.10) for bronze after slipping one place in the team standings on day two.
Full Kiwi schedule below. Click on a name to see athlete's bio, upcoming events, past Games performance and medal chance.
New Zealand has a rich eventing history, with all 10 of the country's Olympic equestrian medals, dating back to 1984, coming in that discipline. That includes team bronzes in 1988, 1996 and 2012, and silver in 1992.
The Great Britain team of Oliver Townend, Laura Collett and Tom McEwen delivered an effortless exhibition of cross-country riding to have one hand on the gold medal with a combined score of 78.30.
Australian trio Shane Rose, Kevin McNab and Andrew Hoy are second with 96.20 points.
Price, attending his second Olympics after being an 11th-hour callup from the reserve spot five years ago, has strong claims to challenge for an individual medal. He sits one point back from bronze on 26. 8.
Great Britain are well place to bag two of the three individual medals with Townend (23.6 points) leading Germany's Julia Krajewski (25.6) and Collet (25.8) in bronze position.
Jonelle Price opened the day with a solid run for New Zealand, finishing five seconds over the allotted 7m 45sec time to incur two penalties and improve her individual ranking to 12th on 32.70 points.
At that point, New Zealand were third in the team standings.
Riding Grovine De Reve, the world No 7 Price is competing in her third Games having been part of the London bronze-claiming side.
After the dressage stage Price's 30.70 had her in 17th.
Jesse Campbell, aboard Diachello on Olympic debut, began the day in 15th after the dressage phase. The 31-year-old world No 97 slipped back in the cross country, however, after conceding 14.4 penalties to sit on 44.50 in 27th place.
Price, emerging as one of the last competitors, rode New Zealand back into medal contention to finish in 7m 48sec.
Show jumping will now determine whether New Zealand and Price can leap onto the podium.