Nick Robinson-Baker admitted pressure took its toll after he and partner Chris Mears finished eighth in a chaotic 3m synchro final at the diving World Championships in Barcelona.
The British pair, who finished fifth at last year's Olympics, were within seven points of bronze heading into their final dive.
But Robinson-Baker made an error to drop them down the leaderboad, though in a tight competition they finished just 6.72 points off the podium.
However, he was not alone. The top three positions changed hands four times as even eventual gold medallists, China's He Chong and Qin Kai, struggled for consistency in an error-strewn final.
Russia's Illya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov and surprise package, Mexico's Rommel Pacheco and Jahir Ocampo, completed the podium.
"We had a cracking competition but I went quite far over on my last dive," said Robinson-Baker.
"It's one of those things in sport and maybe it was the pressure building up a little bit. However, at the end of the day it was a great performance.
"Diving is one of those sports that can be up and down. In the fourth and fifth rounds, I think seven teams messed up one of their dives which was amazing to watch."
Mears will return in the individual 3m springboard prelims on Thursday and believes he's in good shape for better display.
"Our performance was pretty good and individually I feel I dived pretty well," he added.
"The inward let us down a little bit but in that field, there were divers in there dropping two dives, three dives. It's unfortunate that our last dive wasn't the best but there'll be another time."
© Sportsbeat 2013