AS JAMES Magnussen took his place on the blocks this morning for the 4x100m relay, you could have cut the anticipation at the Town Green Inn with a knife.
But by the time the event was finished, with the Australian team finishing fourth and out of the medals, you could have heard a pin drop.
The crowd sat in stunned silence - with poses similar to the televised dejection of Magnussen on the screen - as France celebrated a gold medal, the US silver and Russia bronze.
Port Pirhanas Swimming Club members said their support for the champ was unwavering.
Magnussen's face was a picture of devastation.
"I've got no response really. I don't know what happened," he said, and even that much was a struggle.
He left it up to teammates James Roberts, Eamon Sullivan and Matthew Targett to explain.
He doesn't have long to back-up for the individual event on Thursday morning Australian time, and Port Macquarie and the rest of the country will hope he can recover.
And while Australia didn't get the result this morning, at least we can take solace in the fact that the Americans only got second.