Australia's 18-year-old speed skating prodigy Deanna Lockett has qualified for the 1000-metre short track finals, after a collision between the two race leaders allowed her to sneak into second and then power into first place in her heat.
Lockett does not have a power start, and says her tactic was always to lurk at the back, save her energy and wait for her moment to pounce.
However, her job was made easy when Canadian Marianne St-Gelais clipped the skate of the Netherlands' Jorien ter Mors, sending both sliding into the barriers. Then during the second-last lap Lockett put her foot down and sped past Austria's Veronika Windisch to take first place, ensuring a more favourable position in the quarter-finals.
Ter Mors, the 1500-metre long track speed skating gold medallist, was advanced to the quarters by the referees.
Lockett said she was happy to advance after disappointment in the 1500 metres on Saturday when she failed to reach the finals, shut out by a tight, defensive pack.
"I think in the 1500 metres I was pretty unlucky and my race was not very good but God was fair and he gave me a better opportunity in the 1000," she said, smiling. "So I'm looking forward to the quarter-final.
"I was conserving energy for the last two laps when I was planning to do a pass but I didn't have to. I just had to make sure I stayed on my feet and didn't fall over as well."
She said she preferred to win with everyone on their feet – "but that's short track, I guess".
Lockett is back in the ice baths to combat the fatigue that has plagued her during these Games, and is also taking antibiotics to try to fight off an ear infection.
Despite numerous disqualifications and false starts during Tuesday's 1000-metre heats, most of the favourites made it through and the competition will be tough in the finals on Friday.
Canadian Valerie Maltais posted an Olympic record timing in her heat.
And British skater Elise Christie made a strong comeback after disqualifications in the 500 metres and 1500 metres, taking a huge lead in her heat with a burst of speed with a couple of laps to go.
Christie had shut down her Twitter account after receiving abuse over her earlier performances.
World record-holder Shim Suk-hee from South Korea, Italian Arianna Fontana and South Korea's Park Seung-Hi also looked strong.
There was disappointment for Australia in the men's 500 metres, when Pierre Boda finished last in a fast heat despite posting a time close to his personal best.
The race was dominated by a duel between South Korea's Park Se-yeong and Japan's Satoshi Sakashita.
"I felt pretty good off the line but it's pretty hard to work your way back up the pack in a 500," Boda said afterwards. "I skated as hard as I could… everyone was too bunched up (for me) to have gotten through."
Deanna Lockett races the 1000-metre short track quarterfinal at 8.45pm Friday Sochi time, which is 3.45am Saturday in Sydney (Eastern Daylight Time).