With a shake of her head, Kelsey-Lee Barber told herself she wasn't going out like that.
And the Canberra javelin thrower unleashed the third biggest throw of the qualifying rounds - and her biggest throw of the year - to progress to Friday's Olympic final.
The 2019 world champion started slowly with two disappointing efforts and needed a big throw with her third-and-final attempt on one of the world's biggest stages.
She not only did that, but her effort of 62.59 metres took her from the verge of elimination back into medal contention in the blink of a javelin.
But it all looked lost after her first two throws of 51.27m and 53.82m, which had her needing to at least beat 60.94m with her last throw.
Having missed out on the 2016 Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro, Barber had vowed that wasn't happening again.
She produced when it mattered most.
"I've got to stop doing that, really," Barber told the Seven Network.
"Sure it's fun for TV viewing, but I'm sure my coach Mike gets a heart attack every time, putting him in the hot seat for that final throw.
"I just had flashbacks to the 2018 Commonwealth Games where my throws were pretty, they were neat, but there was just nothing on them and I was just not going out like that.
"That was my Rio experience and I was not having a repeat of that so it was time to get fired up, be a competitor, be a performer and put something out there and throw the javelin. So I'm really happy I did that."
She'll be joined in the final field of 12 by two other Australians, with Mackenzie Little (62.37m) and Kathryn Mitchell (61.85m) also qualifying.
Poland's Maria Andrejczyk had the field easily covered with her effort of 65.24m
The past few years have been a struggle for Barber, with injury and form struggles on top of the pandemic that's turned everyone's worlds upside down.
But now she's in the final. And there's only one thing on her mind.
"It's been really up and down to be honest. The best way to describe these last couple of years has been character building," Barber said.
"There's been things thrown at me I'd never have anticipated as an athlete and as a person, and I've had to find new ways to grow.
"I'm really happy to be here and I'm super, super excited for the final because I said in Rio I would be back out here ready to fight for a medal and I'm so in that space."