TAMSIN Hinchley says the reality of her London Olympic dream is starting to sink in.
The Ballarat beach volleyballer won her place alongside veteran partner Nat Cook with an FIVB Continental Cup women's zone final win against China on Sunday.
Now all they need is their selection to be rubber stamped.
Hinchley, 32, is in line for her third Olympic selection.
She made her Games debut for the 2000 Sydney Games and returned, this time on the sand, alongside Cook for Beijing in 2008.
Hinchley and Cook reunited in mid-July last year in a bid to strengthen their London bid and, despite leaving their run late, worked hard to secure a spot.
"So very stressful and so amazing to do it," Hinchley told the Australian Olympic Committee's official website from China on Sunday night.
"Just qualifying feels like winning an Olympic gold medal. It totally reinforces everything we have done and the strength of our team.
"I am so incredibly happy that I can represent my family and community at the London Olympics.
"Missing Athens for indoor broke my heart and now to be set to be a three-time Olympian is fantastic.
"It's an amazing feeling to be going with Nat."
Cook is in line to become Australia's first female athlete to contest five summer Olympics and is a strong contender for Australian flagbearer as the sole Australian to compete in all five Olympic beach volleyball tournaments.
The 37-year-old is a Sydney Olympic gold medallist and finished fifth alongside Hinchley, nee Barnett, in Beijing.
Hinchley had son Arley after Beijing then returned to competition with a new partner before encouraged to rejoin Cook last year.
Australia qualified its top women's pairing Bec Palmer and Louise Bawden last week with a world ranking inside the top 16.
Cook and Hinchley had an intense race for ranking points on the international circuit but instead found success on the alternate route through the Continental Cup regional play-offs, which Australia qualified for earlier this year.
Rising stars Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy helped Australia secure its Olympic spot by playing in tandem with Cook-Hinchley for the continental team event in Fuzhou, China.