Becky Gallantree and Alicia Blagg were left to rue a couple of missed dives as they finished seventh in the women's springboard synchro final at the Aquatics Centre.
The City of Leeds duo were not expected to threaten the podium although they found themselves in fourth place after two rounds after one of their best ever compulsory set of dives.
Both missed their next front two-and-a-half somersaults dive, however, to drop out of contention before 15-year-old Olympic debutant Blagg came out too late on their final effort.
Wu Minxia and He Zi easily claimed victory, to kick off China's quest for a clean sweep of all eight gold medals in the diving pool, ahead of the United States and Canada.
"We were really happy with the first two dives but then I missed my last dive and my third," Blagg said.
"It was my first Games, it was just an absolutely incredible experience. The whole crowd was incredible. Hopefully I've got many more Games in me to improve on this and the dives I'm not confident on."
While small sections of the 17,500 capacity Aquatics Centre were left empty, the British duo still enjoyed boisterous home support that Gallantree, competing at her second Olympics, admitted she was blown away by.
"It was absolutely incredible. The crowd out there was just mind blowing. It was really, really fantastic," the 27-year-old said.
"It just made us smile. We were grinning at each other. The result could have been better but there was a lot of positives in there."
Gallantree and Blagg's final score of 285.60 was some 17 points short of the personal best they achieved in reaching the European Championships final in May. However, even their best would have failed to improve their ranking in a record-breaking final that saw Wu crowned springboard synchro champion for a third consecutive Olympics.