Laurel Hubbard, who made history by becoming the first transgender individual athlete to compete at the Olympics, bowed out of the women's over-87 kg weightlifting event after three failed attempts.
However, controversy over her second lift, which was ruled invalid by two of the three judges of the event, may cause Hubbard and the rest of New Zealand to wonder what could've been.
Hubbard, who was fancied as a medal contender in the event, wasn't able to clear her first weight of 120kg in the snatch portion of the competition.
She then decided to attempt a higher weight at 125kg in her second of three attempts, a weight that was still well below her personal best of 133kg.
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Unlike her first attempt, the 43-year-old managed to raise the weight over her head and stand up, albeit shakily.
After appearing to complete the lift, her celebrations were short-lived as the majority of judges had ruled out the attempt, likely due to apparent movement in Hubbard's right elbow.
In the snatch, where competitors attempt to raise the barbell over their head in one singular motion, lifters are required to hold the weight above their heads with straight elbows and hold it until the buzzer sounds.
The fact that one judge deemed Hubbard's second lift to be successful made the decision by Hubbard and her coaches not to challenge the judges' call surprising.
Television commentators at the arena also expressed their surprise that no appeal was lodged from Hubbard's team, who accepted the decision and result.
"It's been failed two-to-one. I fear there was movement in the right elbow. There's shaking in the arms, but it's not overly obvious," one commentator said.
"I'm surprised they haven't played a replay card. It's not an obvious press-out. I'm very surprised they haven't played the appeal card, Team New Zealand."
Fans on social media also questioned the judges' call.
Hubbard wasn't able to complete the snatch in her third attempt and just like that, her Games was over.
Speaking about her second attempt after the event, Hubbard was philosophical about the judges' decision.
"Well, weightlifting does have rules like any sport and if I've contravened those rules it must have been a no lift," she said.
Despite the disappointing performance, Hubbard exited the stage with dignity and gestured to the few in attendance in the arena to thank them for their support.
She also thanked her supporters at home in a short statement to reporters at the arena after the event.
"Thank you so very much for your interest in my non-performance this evening," Hubbard said. "I know that from a sporting perspective I haven't really hit the standards that I've put upon myself and perhaps the standards that my country has expected of me.
"But one of the things for which I am so profoundly grateful is that supporters in New Zealand have given me so much love and encouragement, and I think I wish I could thank them all at this point but there's just too many to name. Thank you so much to everyone who's helped me along this journey.
"One of the great misconceptions of weightlifting is that it's an individual sport but it isn't. Behind every weightlifter there is a team of people who offer support, encouragement, just so many things. It's my one regret that I can't thank them all now."
China's Li Wenwen ended up winning gold, setting a new Olympic record for her combined lift. Emily Jade Campbell of Great Britain won silver and American Sara Elizabeth Robles claimed bronze.