Olympic debutant Annalise Murphy narrowly missed out on Ireland's first medal of London 2012.
The 22-year-old enjoyed an impressive week and came into the race as one of four sailors challenging for a podium spot in the Laser Radial class.
However, Murphy could only finish fifth in the medal race to leave her fourth overall as China's Xu Lijia took gold.
The Dubliner won the first four races of the Olympic regatta but tapered off as the week progressed, leaving her third overall heading into the medal race.
Xu, Evi Van Acker, Murphy and Marit Bouwmeester all had a serious chance of winning gold.
Only one point separated the quartet and Murphy got off to the best start as she rounded the first mark in the lead. The Irish sailor, though, dropped down to ninth during the second leg as China's Xu moved into the lead, despite being forced to do a penalty turn.
Xu was still ahead around the third and fourth marks, although Bouwmeester pulled herself up from eighth to third in the penultimate downwind leg.
The Dutch sailor could not jump above Xu or Great Britain's Ali Young, though, and rounded the fifth mark in the same position.
Belgium's Van Acker moved ahead of Murphy in that final upwind and remained ahead of the Irish sailor for the remainder of the race to take bronze.
Further up the fleet, Bouwmeester was unable to find a way past Xu in latter stages so took silver, leaving China to celebrate yet another gold medal at London 2012.