For a split second, Japan's Satoko Miyahara figured maybe, just maybe, she had done enough to win a medal on her Olympic debut after skating a personal-best free routine at the Pyeongchang Winter Games on Friday.
But as the last three skaters in the final group -- Alina Zagitova, Kaetlyn Osmond and world champion Evgenia Medvedeva -- took to the ice, reality started to sink in for the four-time national champion.
Having also set a personal best in Wednesday's short program, Miyahara went into the free skate in fourth place, 2.93 points behind Canadian world silver medalist Osmond.
But despite a fluid, elegant routine, it was not enough as Osmond also held her nerve to take the bronze medal behind Olympic Athletes from Russia Zagitova and Medvedeva.
"When my score came up it was my personal best so I thought I would be in with a chance," said Miyahara. "But everyone else skated without really making any mistakes and I thought to myself they are on a different (level)."
"After the skate, I thought I have come this far and really want a medal. But watching the last three skaters, I realized I still have a way to go," said the 19-year-old from Kyoto.
"It really stings but I have just resigned myself to the fact that I have to try even harder," she said.
Despite the disappointment of failing to make the podium, 2015 world silver medalist Miyahara has enjoyed the Olympic experience that came a little over a year after she suffered a hip injury that sidelined her for several months.
"It has been a dream world beyond my imagination and now I want to take a look at my skating and keep doing my best," said Miyahara.
"It feels like I have been in Pyeongchang for a long time but at the same time feels like it has gone by in a flash now that it's over."
Miyahara endured a bumpy road to Pyeongchang and was forced to miss last year's world championships in Helsinki due to a stress fracture in her hip.
But in her second competition back from injury, she won her second Grand Prix event at Skate America in November.
Miyahara placed fifth at the Grand Prix Final in Nagoya in December, when she skated as an alternate after Medvedeva withdrew due to a broken foot.
She booked her spot in Pyeongchang later that month, winning her fourth straight national title by a wide margin over Kaori Sakamoto.
"While I was out injured I went through some tough times, but on my return to competition I found out how enjoyable it is to be able to do my best in each and every one," said Miyahara.
"I think I was able to express my thanks to all of the people that have supported me with this skate today."
Asked what she needed to improve moving forward, Miyahara said, "The quality of my jumps and liveliness of my program. I want to go to the next Olympics (in Beijing in 2022) and I want to go there with even more determination to win a medal."