Canterbury swimmer Sophia Batchelor battled ill-health to narrowly miss out on a finals berth at the FINA World Short Course Championships in Dubai.
The 15-year-old was 11th fastest after heats of the 200 metre backstroke in 2:07.27 to be just outside the qualifying mark.
Her best time of 2:05.52 would have comfortably secured a berth in the final with American Melissa Franklin topping qualifiers in 2:03.76.
Batchelor, the second youngest swimmer at the championships, made mistakes in her turns and was also battling a virus in her first venture to an open world championship.
Batchelor, the only New Zealand swimmer to travel to Dubai, also missed out on qualifying in the 100 backstroke.