A decade in the business and approaching the end of a successful career, Matthew Mitcham on Wednesday night again missed winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal, collecting his fifth silver when he placed second in the one-metre springboard in Edinburgh.
The 10 metre platform champion at the Beijing Olympics wrenched what he could out of his damaged body, which has let him down during the past four years, but could not match England's Jack Laugher who finished his six dives on 449.90 points. Mitcham finished with 404.85 while fellow Australian Grant Nel won bronze with 4.03.40.
The Australian pair of Maddison Keeney and Annabelle Smith won bronze in the synchronised 3m springboard.
Mitcham has carried a series of injuries since 2010 that have included an abdominal tear, back stress fractures and an tear of a tendon in the elbow and the 26 year old admitted that it was no longer possible to compete at his best.
"I think maybe the human body is not meant to do what we do for such a sustained period of time," Mitcham said.
"(But) I'm still loving it and that's why I just keep putting myself through this over and over again and I'm just grateful that I'm able to do it and have fun doing it.
"Looking back at when I was diving my best in 2010, I'm not there and I don't know if I'll ever be there again.
"That was where I was at my optimum and I've just had so many injuries since so it's really just working with what I've got which is pretty fallible and pretty fragile but just hoping to rely on experience and looking pretty and hoping that the judges like that."
However, Mitcham, who last competed internationally on the one-metre springboard at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, said he was surprised at how close the competition was.
"It makes it so exciting, it makes it really great to watch and makes it really hard on the heart to compete in but the anxiety historically has done good things for me," said Mitcham, who nailed his final dive in Beijing in 2008 to win the gold.
"Springboard tends to not be as friendly with anxiety as platform is but I guess it just worked for me today and I don't know if that's experience or if that's being older and wiser.
"Everyone else dived so much better than what I expected and I didn't dive as well as I remembered my one metre event used to be like just because my preparation this year hasn't been fantastic with the injuries. I've only really been in the water for eight weeks and I had two months out before that for my elbow tear.
"We don't really get many opportunities to compete at one-metre because it's not an Olympic event. I guess springboard divers would get to train on it a lot more but I've got so many other events to train for that it really doesn't get much of a look in.
Mitcham did not appear confident of his chances against England star Tom Daley, who he will meet in his pet event, 10 metre platform, on Saturday and the 10 metre synchro on Friday.
"Tom has been diving really well all year," Mitcham said.
"I have been watching him do all his world series events so he's looking really good and I just don't know where I compare to that but all I can do is do my best and whatever I get, I'll be happy with because I've done everything in my power just to get here."
Nel said he was surprised with his bronze, although he knew that if he "put it together on the day, it's anybody's game".
"I knew I was in contention because I had dived really consistently and I guess I put it together in the end and got to go home with the bronze so I'm very happy with that," Nel said.
Keeney and Smith finished with 294.72 points, behind gold medallists England's Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree (300.24) and Canada's Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware (295.65).
However, Keeney said the result was "a bit disappointing".
"We thought we could dive better," she said.
Anna Gelai and Esther Qin finished fourth with 290.10.