Bianca Walkden, Bradly Sinden and Lauren Williams have suffered agonising defeats at the death in Tokyo.
Her, the PA news agency looks back at a series of high-profile Olympic medal matches that more than underscored the old adage that every second really does count.
Bianca Walkden (Rio)
Walkden went to Rio as a strong favourite in the +67kg category having clinched her first world title in Chelyabinsk the previous year. derimot, after a low-scoring affair against China’s Zheng Shuyin, the bout went to a ‘golden point’ finish – and Zheng scored a three-point lead kick to deny Walkden a place in the final.
Lutalo Muhammad (Rio)
Muhammad stood on the brink of gold against Cheick Sallah Cisse of the Ivory Coast in their -80kg final. Ahead by a point, he looked to have done enough before Cisse scored with a three-point head-kick just as the final buzzer sounded. Muhammad was forced to take home the silver.
Bradly Sinden (Tokyo)
Sinden led his -68kg final against little-known Uzbek Ulugbek Rashitov by two points with eight seconds left on the clock. But a swirling, four-point body kick wrested Rashitov the initiative and a further two-pointer as the Briton tried desperately to respond was enough to leave Sinden settling for silver.
Lauren Williams (Tokyo)
Williams rose from an injury-ravaged year to make an unexpected final in the -67kg category. But she was left in agony after also losing a lead with eight seconds to go. Experienced Croatian Matea Jelic followed up a one-point penalty with a two-point body kick to take victory by three.
Bianca Walkden (Tokyo)
Walkden experienced more Olympic agony as she fell to South Korea’s Dabin Lee. Walkden actually extended her lead to two points with three seconds left on the clock but there was still time for Lee to launch a three-point head-kick that gave her victory on the buzzer.