Great Britain's Olympic boxing hopes have been hit by a hammer-blow with the news that world lightweight champion and gold medal favourite Frankie Gavin has been forced to withdraw from the competition.
The world champion from Yardley has admitted defeat in his battle to boil down to the 60kg lightweight limit and has left the team's holding camp in Macau, where he had been left behind in order to make one final push.
Great Britain head coach Terry Edwards said: "Frankie has been working his whole boxing career towards the Olympic Games and he is obviously completely devastated.
"Whilst the support staff down in Macau and I, have done everything we could, regrettably it is clear that Frankie will not make his weight before tomorrow morning's weigh-in."
Gavin had always admitted he faced a struggle to make the lightweight limit and had been campaigning almost exclusively in the 64kg category with the exception of last November's World Championships in Chicago.
Gavin's performances in the US - when he became Britain's first ever world amateur champion - gave his team confidence he would be able to hit the limit again for a tournament he was favoured to win.
But despite the 22-year-old's claims to the contrary, it became increasingly obvious in recent weeks Gavin was struggling desperately to shed the final few pounds in time for the Friday morning weigh-in.
Edwards added: "It is the nature of our sport that we try and get our boxers to the top of their weight and it has been well documented that Frankie has struggled with this over recent months.
"My advice to him has been to take stock over the next couple of weeks and I will talk to him about his future as soon as I get home.
"I would ask that his privacy is respected during this difficult period and he is given the time to come to terms with the situation."
Questions are now bound to be raised about the tactics used by Gavin to reach his intended target, and why he was not directed instead towards the higher light-welterweight category.
Ironically, in Gavin's absence, his 64kg team-mate Bradley Saunders, who is ranked third in the world, assumes the position of Britain's brightest boxing medal hope.
But the news is bound to hit the now seven-strong British boxing team hard ahead of tomorrow's draw, with Gavin a popular and inspirational figure within the friendly team.
Gavin will now be left to contemplate his amateur future, having recently back-tracked on his previous assertion that he would definitely be looking to turn professional following the Games.
Edwards added: "Frankie is leaving a very talented group of boxers here in Beijing, and our focus has never faltered from making sure they have the best preparation and support to allow them to perform to the best of their ability in the Olympic boxing ring."