Teenage diving sensation Tom Daley and British team-mate Peter Waterfield both qualified for the semi-finals of the individual 10 metres platform competition at the Water Cube.
The Plymouth 14-year-old was up against it after his first dive - a backward two-and-a-half somersault with one-and-a-half twists piked - earned him 68 points to leave him 24th.
His third attempt lifted him to 13th at the halfway stage and from there he was able to ensure he kept inside the top-18 cut-off, eventually finishing 12th.
Southampton's 27-year-old Waterfield, who is competing in his third Olympics, began well and stood joint sixth after his opening dive.
He moved up to third on his second effort and maintained a place in the top five - closing a creditable fourth - to enable him to also return tomorrow morning for the semis.
Daley admitted he had been disappointed with his first dive, his most difficult, but gained confidence as the competition progressed.
And what really boosted him was the 86.4 he received for an inward three-and-a-half somersault on his third attempt.
"My first dive is normally where I would pick up some points because it is my highest degree of difficulty," said Daly, who since featuring in the 10m synchronised pairs at the start of last week has had time to visit the Great Wall of China in between training.
"I needed to do that third dive as well as I possible could to have a chance of qualifying for the semi-final.
"My entries weren't as sharp as they could be today so tomorrow hopefully I'll be able to sharpen up a little bit.
"I have got to get the 8am bus tomorrow and then I'll do a bit of five metre line-up entry work and just general easier stuff to practise the entries.
"Then in the competition I will see if it unfolds well."
During his time in between competitions Daly admitted he had been inspired watching other British athletes win medals.
"Britain have done absolutely amazingly. It is really good to be part of that team," he added.
"You see these people walking around and you think 'Oh my God, that's an Olympic gold medallist.
"It is really good to be in that environment."
Team-mate Waterfield believes, after tonight's performance in the drawn-out qualifier of 30 divers, he can contend for a medal.
That is despite the recurrence of a shoulder injury which required a pain-killing injection and put his participation in doubt.
"It is a three-hour preliminary and I was pleased with the way I got through it," he said.
"I never saw any of the other divers or any or my scores - I blanked everything out.
"Two or three days ago my shoulder went again and I had to have another cortisone injection to take the pain away.
"Considering three days ago I didn't even know if I was even going to dive that is good.
"It hurt in one of my dives and it affected the actual dive but you have to get on with it as these things are sent to test you.
"But I'm not here to make up the numbers. If I can put in a better performance than that who knows [what can happen]?"