Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson saw their Olympic dream wrecked when they lost their mixed doubles quarter-final to Korea's Yongdae Lee and Hyojung Lee 21-19 21-12.
The British pair, who had won silver in Athens, could not emulate the spirit which had seen them fight back from six points down in the final game of their first round match.
It was a sad way for Emms' career to end as she had already lost in the women's doubles and had announced she would retire at the end of these Games.
This time the Britons, who had beguiled Beijing and the TV audience back home with the passion of their encounter against their first round Chinese opponents, got off to a slow start, allowing the Korean pair to dictate tactics and control too many of the rallies.
Emms was not nearly as dominant at the net and although she pumped her fists and tried to step up the energy levels it was the Koreans who were sharper.
A net cord at 13-11 which fell in the Koreans' favour was crucial in the first game in which the Britons never led.
The British pair fell behind 6-2 at the start of the second game before launching another fightback which threatened to level the match.
They led 10-8, but then the Koreans began to target Emms and the errors leaked from her racket.
They went from 10-9 up to 20-11 down and this time there was to be no miraculous comeback, the end coming when Robertson guided a forehand tamely wide.