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The luck was with Catriona Bisset and Peter Bol in Eugene as the Australian pair both advanced in their 800m events in dramatic style at the world championships.
After being pushed to the track in her women's 800m heat, Australian record holder Bisset won a reprieve and was added to the semi-final field by the race jury.
In the men's semis, Bol was all but certain he had missed a spot in the final after running third in the first of three races, with only the top two gaining automatic spots in the final.
But the other two semis weren't any quicker, allowing the Australian to sneak into Saturday's title race in eighth spot overall with a time of one minute 45.58 seconds.
Bol, 30, now gets the chance to improve on his fourth-placed finish at last year's Tokyo Olympics.
Bisset was in third spot and seemingly well placed to gain one of the three automatic qualifying places in the women's two-lap event on Thursday when the incident occurred on the final bend at Hayward Field.
Bisset appeared to step straight into the path of Slovenian runner Anita Horvat, who had little choice but to raise her arm, causing the Australian to crash to the track.
The 30-year-old eventually picked herself and crossed the line in last place before leaving the arena in tears, with Britain's Keely Hodgkinson winning the heat.
The race jury viewed replays of the incident and quickly added Italian Elena Bello to the field for the semis after determining she had been the runner most adversely affected by the incident.
After further deliberation, Bisset was also promoted to the semis by the jury, just as Australian officials were about to lodge an appeal.
Fellow Australians Tess Kirsopp-Cole and 17-year-old Claudia Hollingsworth were both eliminated in the opening round.
Bol went straight from the arena to the warm-up track to cool down, assuming he had been eliminated after finishing a close third behind Olympic champ Emmanuel Korir and fellow Kenyan Wyclife Kinyamal, having been in the top two positions until 30 metres from the line.
Then came the unlikely news that his time had stood up by nine hundredths of a second as the slowest non-automatic qualifier.
"I thought it was all over," he admitted.
"I'm quite lucky to be in the final again; that's two years in a row.
"I think if you look at that list there's only three of us from last year's final in Tokyo.
"The 800 is a tricky one - you never know who is going to make it.
"Everyone is in shape, it's just whoever has the best kick on the day."
Australian Ky Robinson ran bravely near the front throughout the opening heat of the men's 5000m before being swamped in the closing stages to finish eighth in 13:27.03.
Matthew Ramsden was also eliminated.
Cameron McEntyre (77.50m) and Cruz Hogan (73.03m) bowed out in javelin qualifying.