Britain's Will Sharman won European 110m hurdles silver to add to his Commonwealth silver but saw gold slip away with the race in his grasp.
Sharman had lost the Commonwealth title after hitting the eighth barrier and here in Zurich led with three quarters of the race gone with French favourite Pascal Martinot-Lagarde struggling.
But after his trail leg clipped the seventh hurdle his lead foot smashed into the next, and defending champion Sergey Shubenkov capitalised to come through for gold.
Sharman had set a new personal best of 13.16 seconds in winning his semi-final and looked set for an even better time, but in an unforgiving event he once again stumbled at the critical point.
|BBC Sport athletics expert Colin Jackson|
|"It's terribly frustrating. Sharman had that race until he hit those hurdles. He had to stay calm and relaxed and one of his massive assets is that he usually keeps it perfectly under control at the back end of the race. Shubenkov ran the cleanest race, with virtually no mistakes. Will's a silver medallist but he will look back on this season and think he could be a champion twice."|
He told BBC Sport: "It's mixed emotions because I knew I was in the lead, I knew where Shubenkov is good and I knew where I was stronger and I didn't expect to be in the lead in the middle section.
"I could have done more, and that's why I was gutted."
Lawrence Clarke pulled out of the final with a hamstring injury and former European and Commonwealth champion Andy Turner, who is retiring at the end of the season, finished seventh in his semi-final.
"I'm not going to go away disappointed," said Turner. "I finished my career where I wanted to be and that is on the track. I didn't want Achilles problems to determine the end. It sits well with me. There's not a next time but I'm cool with that."
GB captain Goldie Sayers could not find the inspiration that her team speech has given to others and finished a disappointing eighth in the javelin final.
Sayers endured 18 months of injury and three bouts of surgery after rupturing her elbow tendon at London 2012, and with that experience in mind had urged her team-mates to perform as if it were the last time they would ever compete.
But she struggled with her run-up, a third round of 58.33 almost four metres down on her season's best as double Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova snatched gold from Tatjana Jelaca with her penultimate throw of 64.41m.
"That was just incredibly frustrating," said Sayers. "I didn't have a big throw in me today - if I did, I didn't get it out.
"My arm feels as good as it has ever been - that to me just shows the lack of throws in my training over the last 12 months."
Britain still leads the medal table with four golds in their total of eight medals, and have further chances of success on Friday when Adam Gemili and three British women go in the 200m finals, Christine Ohuruogu and three men compete in the 400m finals and Hannah England and Laura Weightman contest the women's 1500m final.