Olympic silver medallist Heather Fell rates herself as an outsider to make the Great Britain modern pentathlon team for the London Games.
The 29-year-old maintained Britain's record of having won at least one medal at every Olympics since the women's competition was introduced in 2000 when she finished as runner-up to Germany's Lena Schoneborn in Beijing four years ago.
But the competition for the two places available in London is among the toughest in any sport, with six women beginning the year with realistic expectations of qualification.
That has been reduced to four with the confirmation yesterday that Fell, Mhairi Spence, Samantha Murray and Freyja Prentice will make up the team for next week's World Championships in Rome, ending the Olympic hopes of Katy Livingston, who was seventh in Beijing, and Katy Burke.
Fell sits ninth in the world rankings, second only to fifth-placed Spence in British terms, but Spence and Murray have both won World Cup medals this season while Prentice is the only British woman to have already met the Olympic selection criteria courtesy of her top-eight finish at the European Championships last year.
"I would put myself as the fourth member of the World Championship team," admitted Fell.
"From the way the year has gone I feel like I've crept in there but you've got to be in it to win it and I'm there. I think we're all starting again with a fresh slate so hopefully I can move myself up in the rankings."
Fell can draw on memories of the same process ahead of the Beijing Games, when she also had to contend with the loss of her funding following injury problems.
She said: "I remember back in 2007 when I qualified I never once thought for one minute that I'd be going because there were so many hurdles in front of me. Now we're only a few months away and it still feels the same as it did then.
"I can't envisage that far ahead but I'm one step closer by having the chance to compete at the World Championships and I know I've got the World Cup Final as well so I've just got to focus on those two competitions and hope I can do enough."
Fell, who is from Tavistock but trains with the rest of the British team at the Pentathlon GB High Performance Centre at the University of Bath, has been consistent this season, achieving two seventh places and one 13th at World Cup level.
The most recent of those came a week and a half ago in Rostov, Russia, where she feared her Olympic hopes may have been over before she eventually recovered to finish seventh.
She said: "I had a real shocker in the semi-final in Russia, I was just so happy to make the final because I thought that was it, that could have been the end of my year.
"But I got through and then I thought: 'Even if I finish 36th, I've got to be happy with that. I'm here, I'm in the final, and that's all I wanted'.
"And I wanted it so much. That's brought me back down to earth and made me think, every chance you get, take it and enjoy it because you don't know how many more there are."
A medal at the World Championships for any British athlete would virtually assure them a place at the Games, but even if they do not manage that, Fell, Spence and Murray are almost certain to qualify through the rankings.
That would leave the coaching team, led by performance director Jan Bartu, with a very difficult decision to make when they pick their team next month.
He said: "It is going to go down to the wire now. It's an exciting time for us but it's also a time of high responsibility.
"The athletes put their lives on the line, up to eight years of full-time training and sacrifice to get to this point. The decision about one or two of them not going to their home Games is a very tough one.
"I just hope we have enough expertise and strength to make the right call when the time comes."