The badminton tanking scandal tainting the London Games gifted Australian badminton players Renuga Veeran and Leanne Choo the rarest of lifelines: a shot at Olympic glory from beyond the grave.
Despite bowing out of the Games on Monday, the Australian girls unexpectedly landed a spot in the quarter finals after the shock disqualification of four top Asian teams accused of match throwing.
But Veeran says being thrust into the quarters at the 11th hour was a blessing and a curse for the Games debutants, with the distraction and nerves playing a part in their eventual loss.
Veeran and Choo were knocked out of the Games - again - on Wednesday night at Wembley after losing 21-9 18-21 21-18 to a lower-ranked Canadian pair.
The drama embroiling the competition, plus the fact Veeran and Choo were the first Australians to reach the Olympic quarters in 20 years, created an "emotional rollercoaster" on court.
"I shouldn't say there wasn't enough time (to prepare)... it's just there was a lot of stuff going on," she said.
"Mentally it was really challenging.
"Just trying to get in there, thinking about what's happened, and getting this opportunity, it was definitely affecting us in the start."
Due to appeals from Indonesia and South Korea - two teams that beat Australia in their pool matches - the Australian girls did not know for sure they had booked a quarters slot until late in the stage.
The Canadians by contrast had more time to prepare as the Chinese chose not to appeal the expulsion handed down by the Badminton World Federation.
Veeran said it was playing on their mind as they took the court as favourites against Canada.
"We didn't have a lot of time to prepare, to have a talk, or to have anything to do with mental preparation," she said.
"(We'd) never done anything like this before.
"The emotion was just all over the place."
Thankfully, the girls hadn't hit the town partying or sightseeing after being knocked out by South Korea, instead having dinner with teammates and former British head badminton coach Andy Wood.
Veeran said whoever won the doubles in the end deserved the victory as they would not be connected to the scandal.
"Sport is about being fair and square, and in badminton you don't need to do stuff like that to win the medal."