Peter Waterfield says he apologised to diving partner Tom Daley after an error cost them a chance of an Olympic medal.
The British pair led the field at the halfway stage, but slipped behind China, Mexico and USA into fourth when Waterfield over-rotated on entry.
"After that dive [a reverse three-and-a-half somersault], I said sorry, but Tom told me not to worry," he said.
"It's the worst place to finish at an Olympics. I'd rather be last. To miss out on bronze by nine points is tough."
Fourth place 'agonising' for Daley
Waterfield, who won an Olympic silver medal at the 2004 Games with Leon Taylor, also finished fourth in the event in 2000.
Daley, 18, insisted he placed no blame on his partner, adding that he thought he had made an error in the routine as well.
"At the end of the day, we're a team. We win together and we lose together," said Daley.
"It's been a tough year for me training-wise and it's been a tough year for Pete with injuries, so we're proud of actually being here in front of the home crowd."
The double Commonwealth champion insisted that they will both come back stronger for the individual event next week.
"That performance would have won us a medal in Beijing, so diving has come on a lot since then," said Daley. "We've experienced what the crowd is going to be like now, so we won't be overwhelmed."