Sheffield’s Nick Robinson-Baker and partner Chris Mears slid from touching distance of a medal to eighth after their final dive in the 3 metre synchro springboard cost them dearly at the World Championships in Barcelona.
China won with Qin Kai claiming his fourth successive title in this event with Russia in second and Mexico third.
The pair’s opening effort - a back dive piked with a 2.0 degree of difficulty - saw them joint sixth with Cuba with 50.40 points at the end of the first round.
They dropped to seventh in the following round but the harder dives introduced from that point can have a dramatic impact on a competition.
Their forward three and a half somersault piked with a 3.1 degree of difficulty earned them a raft of scores of 8.5 but, while the pair were consistent, the sustained quality of their competition meant they remained in seventh at halfway, albeit a bridgeable 10.38pts off the United States in third.
Sixth after the fourth round, Robinson-Baker and Mears were still in the fight, 10.80pts off third.
The prospect of a medal inched closer after the penultimate round, the pair just 6.72pts away.
Their final dive - an inward three and a half somersault tucked - matched the degree of difficulty of the one they had just executed at 3.4.
However, Robinson-Baker got his entry wrong and marks as low as 3.5 meant their medal hopes were dashed, the cameras panning to Tom Daley whose hope and then deflation was apparent.
Instead, they slid down the table to eighth with 391.53.
Robinson-Baker said: “It was a matter of counting out one, two, three and chucking it.
“It’s a very consistent dive for us but on this occasion I decided to get a little bit pumped and try a little bit too hard for those big scores but unfortunately it didn’t pay off for me this time.
“Chris’s was fantastic so that is going to help us up there - another day, another dive.”
Mears will now turn his attention to the individual 3m event and he said: “For individual I just want to go out there with a steady head like I did for the synchro and land on my head which will hopefully see me through to semi-finals and pretty much see what damage I can do from there.