New Zealand duo Max Brown and Kurtis Imrie took the long route to qualify for the men's K2 1000m semi-finals, with a strong quarterfinal performance sealing their progression.
Earlier in the day on Olympic debut, Brown and Imrie finished fourth in their heat - 8.4 seconds behind Australia's Olympic best time of 3m 8sec - after starting well but fading from third at the halfway mark.
With the top two boats qualifying straight into the semi-finals from the heats, Brown and Imrie were forced to race again two hours later in one of two quarterfinals.
Lining up alongside five boats in their quarterfinal the Kiwis needed to finish in the top three to advance. They again started well, shooting to the front and only narrowly being pipped for first to finish 0.94 seconds behind Belarus with Italy in third.
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Whanganui-raised Brown and Imrie, the younger brother of Kayla, a 2016 Olympic paddler and three-time World Championship medallist, are New Zealand's first men's K2 1000m representatives since Darryl Fitzgerald and Steven Ferguson placed seventh in the A Final at the 2012 London Olympics.
New Zealand has one Olympic medal in this men's event with four-time gold medallist Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald snaring silver in Seoul, 1988.
Brown and Imrie now line up in the semi-finals at 1.10pm on Thursday.