After finishing second in the morning's preliminaries, the Canadian diving duo of Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion looked poised to bring home Canada's second medal at the world aquatics championships in Rome.
But Benfeito, of Montreal, and Filion, of Laval, Que., had to settle for fourth in the women's 10-metre synchro platform competition on Sunday.
The Canadians narrowly missed out on the bronze medal after a disappointing opening dive put them eighth overall with four dives to go. They regained ground and were in third place after the third and fourth rounds.
Canada finished just .27 points back of the bronze medal with a total score of 321.39.
Olympic champions Chen Ruolin and Wang Xin of China finished first overall with a dominant performance that totalled 369.18 points. China led from start to finish, with all five dives putting them in the No. 1 position.
The American pair of Mary Beth Dunnichay and Haley Ishimatsu won silver at 324.66, and Malaysia's Mun Yee Leong and Pandelela Rinong Pamg won bronze with a total of 321.86 points.
"Fourth place is the most heartbreaking position and I'm feeling that today," said Filion. "When it's that close you think of all the little things you could have improved upon. We had a great international season this year and we were going for the medal here.
"We felt everything was in place for that to happen."
Russians dominate synchro team event
Also Sunday, a completely rebuilt Russian team sailed to the gold medal in the final of the synchro technical team event.
The Beijing Olympic champs brought eight new members with them and still finished ahead of Spain by a full point. China was third and Canada fourth.
"In Rome I am the only one who was part of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Russian squad, although I did not perform in the competition," said Anna Nasekina.
"Yesterday [in preliminaries] we felt very nervous. Today we managed to calm down and to perform better."
Canada's team of Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon, Jo-Annie Fortin, Chloe Isaac, Eve Lamoureux, Elise Marcotte, Karine Thomas, Valerie Welsh and Erin Willson finished three points back of the winners.
Russian veteran wins springboard
Julia Pakhalina, the 32-year-old Russian veteran, won the one-metre springboard competition, easily topping the 12-woman field.
She had three top scores out of the five rounds and only wobbled on the second dive, a sixth.
"I am very happy. I was really, really good," Pakhalina said. "I am also glad to win another gold medal even if in my career I have already collected many others."
Minxia Wu of China was second with teammate Han Wang third.
Melanie Rinaldi of Montreal had an inconsistent final, combining two good dives, an average one and two poor efforts into a 10th place finish. Jennifer Abel of Laval was 12th.
Canadians tie Australia in water polo
Canada's youthful women's water polo team (the average age is just 18) fought Australia to a 6-6 tie on Sunday morning — a strong result.