Great Britain’s wait for their first medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics goes on after curling mixed doubles pair Jen Dodds and Bruce Mouat lost their bronze-medal match 9-3 to Sweden.
The Swedes surged into a 7-1 lead after just three ends and never let up.
Scots Dodds and Mouat – the world champions – were one of the key hopes for Team GB, who have targeted between three and seven medals in Beijing.
They will get another chance when the team events begin on Wednesday.
“It got off to a bad start and that punished us the most and we had to fight back from there,” Mouat told BBC Sport.
“We’re going to have to console ourselves because we’re got a big week with both of our teams. We’re both ready for that but it’s a quick turnaround.”
Sweden were one of the favourites for gold in the mixed doubles, but Oskar Eriksson and Almida de Val only squeezed into the play-offs when Canada lost their final match, and were trounced 8-1 by Italy in their semi-final.
But they barely missed a shot in the bronze-medal match, putting Britain under huge pressure from the off.
The Swedes stormed to a 4-1 lead in the second end when Eriksson’s superb take-out set up partner De Val to chip out Britain’s stone for four, and they stole three more in the next when Dodds’ difficult take-out attempt did not come off.
Another one came in the next when a GB chip could not remove Sweden’s stone.
When Britain fell further behind on their powerplay as Dodds gambled to try to score more than one, there was an inevitability about the outcome.
Indeed the match was conceded after the next end – despite Britain scoring two – to cap another disappointing day for Mouat and Dodds, who lost in the final end to Norway in Monday’s semi-final.
“I don’t think either of them made a mistake,” Dodds said of the Swedes.
“It’s hard to fight back when your opposition is playing that well. Congratulations to them for winning the bronze they played amazing.”
The Norwegians will face unbeaten Italy for gold at 12:05 GMT.
Mouat will turn his attention to leading his men’s team, who start their campaign on Wednesday against Italy, while Dodds will link up with Eve Muirhead’s rink, who face Switzerland earlier the same day.