Will Bayley won Paralympic silver after losing 3-1 to the defending champion Jochen Wollmert in the class seven table tennis final.
The 24-year-old Brit drew level at one game all but the veteran German proved too strong, completing a hat-trick of Paralympic singles titles with an 11-8 4-11 11-5 11-4 victory.
Bayley, who was born with arthrogryposis, topped the world rankings this year but Wollmert always loomed as his biggest rival for Paralympic gold.
Bayley was understandably fired up, fist-pumping in celebration with every point he won and he was roared on by the partisan ExCel Centre crowd.
But it was the veteran German who started fastest, opening a 4-1 lead in the opening game before closing out the first game 11-8.
Bailey, making his Paralympic debut, responded determinedly.
He won the first two points of the second game and then fended of a brief rally from Wollmert to take it 11-4 and draw level in the match but Wollmert resumed control, riding his luck at times, to take the third game 11-5 and leave Bayley staring down the barrel of a defeat.
When Wollmert opened a 2-0 lead at the start of the fourth game, Bayley called for a time-out but he could not arrest the momentum and the German, who plays points with a back-hand, won gold by taking the final game 11-4.
Bayley fell to the ground and appeared to be in tears when Wollmert came over to console the Brit and raise his arm in the air for the home crowd.
"It feels disappointing at the moment because I got to the final and I thought I had a really good chance of winning it," Bayley told Channel 4. "I am sorry to the people who came to watch and sorry to my coach because I dont think I played as well as I could play."