FOUR seconds - that was how close Bathurst triathlete Tamsyn Moana-Veale came to a World Cup podium in Chengdu, China on Sunday.
As the finish line neared and with Moana-Veale hungry for her first podium in an ITU World Cup event since 2013, she summed one final sprint effort.
But in the end she was unable to kick past American Renee Tomlin or Belgium's Valerie Barthelemy and had to settle for fourth position.
Still, Moana-Veale was delighted to have come so close to a medal.
It was the fourth-top five ITU World Cup finish of her career and added to her solid record at Chengdu, having placed 7th there last year and fifth in 2014.
"Super happy to get my highest finish at a World Cup in a very long time," she said.
"Pretty happy to be that close again and really pleased with how I put my whole race together. [But] It's always a bit disappointing to be so close but not quite get it."
Before she got the chance to push for a podium finish with her impressive sprint on Sunday, first Moana-Veale needed to impress in her qualifying semi-final.
With only 30 progressing to the final, the Bathurst triathlete knew she need a solid performance over the sprint distance course (750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and 5km run).
Solid she was, placing fifth as she covered the distance in one hour, one minute and 18 seconds.
The format then switched to a super sprint distance - a 400m swim, 10km cycle and 2.5km run - on Sunday to decide the overall champion.
It was Moana-Veale's Australian team-mate and swim specialist Danielle Defrancesco who set the pace in the opening leg, the Bathurst talent emerging from the water 14 seconds later.
Two groups then formed during the cycle leg - Moana-Veale clocking a 15:05 split - but as the time gaps between the hopefuls were not significant it came down to the run to decide it.
Germany's Laura Lindemann (31:18) powered away to the gold medal and after an exciting sprint to the line, was followed by Tomlin (31:34), Barthelemy (31:35) and Moana-Veale (31:39).
That fourth placing continues an impressive run of form from Moana-Veale so far this year, adding to her runner-up finish in the Devonport and fourth in the Moreton Bay Oceania Cup races.
Her ultimate goal is to try and earn one of three female triathlete spots on the Australian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I'm very aware of how difficult everything will be, but things are tracking along the best as I could hope at the moment," she said.
"As long as I am consistent with my racing there's always an opportunity there."