His Tokyo campaign may have ended in one race, but Jye Edwards is sure to learn plenty of lessons from his Olympics debut.
The 23-year-old lined up for the heats of the 1500 metres event, a notoriously tactical and messy distance.
The Nowra Athletics Club product was in the thick of the action, a slow race seeing athletes jostle for position throughout the journey as they sought to progress to the semi-finals.
Sitting mid-pack, the former Warilla High School student got caught up in two separate incidents in the final lap of the race, two runners hitting the deck.
Edwards stayed on his feet, however he lost all his momentum and the leaders were able to pull away.
The Canberra-based athlete fought hard to reel his rivals in, however he ultimately finished seventh in a time of 3:42.62, one place outside the automatic qualifiers for the semi-final.
Edwards shook his head upon crossing the finish line, the time well outside his personal best of 3:33.23. The slow pace crippled his chances of securing a non-automatic qualifier.
"Absolutely brutal," Edwards told Channel 7.
"That's obviously what Olympic races are like. I had a good preparation leading in, but unfortunately, I couldn't get it done, I couldn't execute on the day.
"It is quite frustrating, in a pretty messy race too, but it is what it is."
Australia will have a presence in the semi-finals, with Ollie Hoare and Stewart McSweyn safely progressing to the next round of the competition.
The pair will return to the track on Thursday, where they will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Illawarra product Ryan Gregson in making an Olympic final.
Once Edwards gets over the disappointment of missing the semi-finals, he will be able to take plenty of positives from an Olympics experience few predicted.
Even Edwards initially had his sights set on Paris in 2024 after battling a string of crippling injuries in recent years.
This latest disappointment is sure to drive the talented runner to return in three years and progress deeper in the competition.
"I thought I was in a pretty good spot early, but everyone come around and I got swamped a bit," Edwards said.
"I probably didn't hold my position well enough, but that's the Olympics, it's cut throat. I gave it everything, pretty disappointed."
We depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.