Exhausted Australian modern pentathlete Marina Carrier has narrowly failed at her first attempt to secure selection for next year's Olympic Games.
Carrier finished second behind New Zealander Rebecca Jamieson in the Asia-Oceania championships in China.
By being the best-placed Oceania pentathlete, Jamieson secured selection for the Tokyo Games while Carrier will now seek Olympic qualification at next year's world cup events and the world championships.
Australia's reigning Olympic champion Chloe Esposito will also chase selection next year after opting out of the China event while recovering from hamstring surgery.
In the Wuhan event, the 23-year-old Carrier held a 34-second lead over her New Zealand rival entering the last discipline, the laser run.
But Carrier, in her return to competition after a fractured thigh bone suffered in June, was overtaken by Jamieson with just 400 metres remaining.
A spent Carrier needed to be helped onto the podium to collect her silver medal.
"Marina gave it her absolute all but just didn't have anything left in the final stages of the laser run," Modern Pentathlon Australia president Kitty Chiller, who was in China for the event, said.
"She was totally exhausted ... she hadn't been able to run or fence in training for the past three months and she simply ran out of gas in the final 800 metres; Rebecca passed her with around 400m to go."
Two Australian male modern pentathletes will compete for the one automatic Olympic qualification slot later on Tuesday.
National champion Rhys Lanskey, 18, will bid for the spot against 2012 Olympian Ed Fernon, who is making a comeback to the sport at the age of 31.