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Gillan (nee Hamill) threw 7.59m to finish fourth in the F34 shot put at the world para-athletics championships in Dubai.
It left the Dunedin thrower 7cm short of bronze medallist Vanessa Wallace, of Great Britain.
However, the top four finish did secure New Zealand a spot in the event at next year's Paralympics in Tokyo.
China's Lijuan Zou claimed gold with 8.76m, while Saida Amoudi, of Morocco, was second with 8.09m.
Gillan had previously won silver medals at the 2006 and 2015 world championships, as well as bronze in 2017 and at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Her performance was the final event for the Otago competitors at the championships.