A New Zealand record was not quite enough to promote the men's medley relay team into the final on last day of the World SwimmingChampionships in Rome.
Daniel Bell, Glenn Snyders, Corney Swanepoel and Cameron Gibson clocked 3:31.58 for the 4x100m medley relay, two seconds faster than their performance in the final at the Beijing Olympics.
They were the the 11th fastest, 7/10ths of a second from a place in the final.
Head coach Jan Cameron says it was a brilliant swim and with 45 countries represented in the medley and about half around the time the squad set in Beijing the depth is quite incredible.
Cameron says she could not have asked for more from the four who finished ahead of some strong swimming nations such Spain, Italy and and China.
She says a repeat of that performance at the next world championships will automatically qualify them for the 2012 Olympics in London.