Han was sitting in tenth place after her short program, but rallied in her free skate to finish in fifth position overall, and first out of the non-qualified countries.
“I knew I was a strong contender going in,” Han said.
“Qualifying for the Olympics was my goal. I’m very happy.”
In Melbourne, yesterday’s figure skating session at the Icehouse came to a standstill as word of Han’s achievement spread around.
Many skaters and parents were glued to their phones, watching the live results as they came through.
“She’s a great role model and such an inspiration,” said Alan Hall, President of the Icehouse Figure Skating Club which Han represents.
“This is a huge thing for our sport. It will give all our skaters here a real boost and encourage them to work harder.”