Britain's Danny Talbot won a bronze medal in the 200 metres at the European Championships, on the day his female counterparts reached their "lowest point".
In the final race of a cold, wet evening in Helsinki, Talbot claimed Britain's fifth medal of the week as Churandy Martina and Patrick van Luijk secured gold and silver respectively for Holland.
"It's amazing," said the 21-year-old from Trowbridge, whose team-mate Chris Clarke finished sixth.
"I didn't even get a medal in the UK championships so to come here and get a medal is a great feeling.
"It's my first senior championships so I was just looking to make the final."
Talbot's time of 20.95 seconds was 0.4secs adrift of the 'A' standard he needed to be considered for Olympic selection, but he added: "Even if I was only selected for the relay it would be a massive honour."
Fortunately for Talbot there will be a men's relay to be part of in London, but the same cannot be said for Britain's women after they failed to qualify for their home Olympics.
Only the top 16 nations in the world qualify and Britain arrived in Helsinki ranked 15th, needing a good performance in the semi-finals or final to hold off the likes of Poland and Switzerland.
However, Poland ran 43.13secs to reach the final and Switzerland recorded a national record of 43.51secs to overtake Britain in the rankings, with the quartet of Anyika Onuora, Montell Douglas, Hayley Jones and Ashleigh Nelson then disqualified after finishing second to Germany in their semi-final.
Jones was the guilty party who stepped outside of her lane on the third leg, and although she was willing to take "all the blame in the world" for Saturday's error, the 23-year-old refused to shoulder the blame for what she termed on Twitter as "two years of missed opportunities".
And UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee admitted the situation had been on the cards for a long time.
"It was always an accident waiting to happen that didn't happen here necessarily, it is a process over a number of years," Van Commenee said.
"We have been underperforming in this area for more than 10 years and at one point you don't get away with it.
"I'm not really surprised, that's why I stopped the programme basically two years ago. I didn't think they were going to be dangerous in London.
"It's a disappointment but at the same time I did not expect great things at all. I think it's a true reflection of where we are. We are somewhere between 15th and 20th and on the day we turn out to be 17th."
Van Commenee famously labelled the women's relay squad a "disgrace" for their "schoolgirl mistakes" at the last Europeans in Barcelona, giving them a dressing down in their hotel lobby as the media sat nearby interviewing Jessica Ennis following her heptathlon gold.
Asked on Saturday why he stopped supporting them financially, the Dutchman added: "A number of things. One is to focus on where we can be successful. We have limited resources in medical support and finances. I can spend the pound only once so I have to make choices.
"Secondly, it is always a great test to find out how eager people are. I never take support away from athletes to punish them, or to trigger them, or what a lot of athletes call a kick under the butt. I don't use it as a tool that way, but I am always interested to see how people respond.
"Some pick it up in a positive way and make it impossible for me not to put them back on support, which is fantastic, and some get only angry and die in misery.
"There were 100 things to do and this one has not been turned around successfully within this cycle. But most of the time you have to go to the lowest point in order to create an environment to improve."
In contrast, the men's team of Christian Malcolm, Dwain Chambers, James Ellington and Mark Lewis-Francis qualified fastest for their final with a time of 38.98secs.
Former Olympic gold medallist Lewis-Francis felt his career could be over after failing to reach the 100m final and claiming he did not have "a chance in hell" of being selected for the relay.
However, an injury to Harry Aikines-Aryeetey handed the 29-year-old from Birmingham another chance and he said: "I was really low after the 100m, it's been a terrible year. These guys have lifted my spirits and given me hope that I might still get into the Olympic Stadium."
The men's and women's 4x400m teams both qualified for tomorrow's finals, but British record holder Lawrence Okoye was last in the discus final.
Elsewhere in the morning session, William Sharman and Gianni Frankis advanced to the semi-finals of the 110m hurdles as Richard Alleyne missed out, while Jade Nicholls (51.75m) failed to make the women's discus final and Charlene Thomas was disqualified from the 1,500m for stepping off the track.
Tom Lancashire also failed to advance in the men's 1,500m, while Andrew Sutcliffe, Max Eaves and Luke Cutts all missed out on the pole vault final.