Kiwi speedskaters certain lower times possible for semi-final after 'terrible run' in Winter Olympics qualifiers

The New Zealand men's speedskating pursuit team aren't patting themselves on the back just yet despite reaching the semi-finals after finishing with the fourth fastest time in qualifying this morning.

The team, made up of Shane Dobbin, Peter Michael and Reyon Kay, held off Japan by 0.44 seconds to book a semi-final against pacesetters South Korea - meaning they have two chances to earn New Zealand our first Winter Olympics medal in 26 years.

But Kay said there's still plenty to do.

"It wasn't the best run we've done but it was good enough today so you've got to be happy with that," he said.

"But we know we've got to get back to the drawing board and figure out where we're going to make some time up."

Michael said their time of 3:41:18 did pose some positives though.

"Having such a bad run and still making it through, we have a lot more time to gain than lose.

"We didn't run the perfect run and just scrape in - we had a very terrible run and still made it in so that's definitely a big positive."

The Kiwis square off against South Korea on Wednesday with a win guaranteeing them a medal in the gold medal race.

A loss will see them fight for bronze in the third place playoff.

The men's speedskating pursuit team have two chances at a medal after qualifying fourth this morning. Source: 1 NEWS