Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork, Britain's best Olympic medal hopes, crashed out of the World Championships in London.
The English pair fell to Malaysia's Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh 21-19 21-19 in the mixed doubles.
Robertson said: "That just wasn't good enough by us. Our standard of play was very poor."
England's top male singles player Rajiv Ouseph also bowed out, losing 21-8 21-18 to Danish third seed Peter Gade.
Robertson continued: "We have got to be a lot better than that when we step into the arena next year. That level of badminton is not good enough to qualify for the Olympic Games.
"We have got a lot of hard work to do to get up to a level where we compete with the top pairs."
On a tough day for the British squad, Ouseph, could not match Gade's speed and precision as he dropped the first set, and although the world number 27 managed to draw level at 17-17 in the second set, Gade powered to victory.
"I had opportunities towards the end of the game and I didn't take them," the 24-year-old told BBC Sport.
"The second set was good but I found it really difficult to get into the game, he played really well.
"We don't get to play against players of this quality all the time, so we need to recreate that experience in training and hopefully we can close the gap for next time."
England's Elizabeth Cann also lost her second-round tie in straight sets.
Jersey-raised Cann, 32, was singled out for praise by Badminton England coach Kenneth Jonasson following her convincing win against Michelle Chan Ky on Monday.
But she was unable to continue that form, losing 21-12 21-19 to Thai 10th seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk.
Cann said: "I played more aggressively towards the end but by then it was too late. Buranaprasertsuk has a very good attack which caught me out.
"I would have liked to have got further but I played better than in the past couple of tournaments so that's an improvement."
The second day of the championships began well for the British contingent but ended in disappointment.
Mixed doubles pair Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier secured the first home win of the day when they defeated Canada's Toby Ng and Grace Gao 21-11 21-14.
The couple now face Thai eighth seeds Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul in round two.
There was success for English wildcard entry Toby Penty, 18, who defeated Scotland's Alistair Casey 21-16 21-10 in his debut major championships and plays Japan's 11th seed Sho Sasaki on Wednesday.
But after outplaying their opponents in Monday's first round men's doubles game, Anthony Clark and Chris Langridge were well beaten by third seeds Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dee of Korea 21-10 21-16.
Marcus Ellis and Heather Olver also lost to Russia's Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina 21-12 21-13.
In the other home nation ties on Wednesday, Adcock and Andy Ellis take on fifth seeds Sung Hyun Ko and Yeon Seong Yoo in the men's doubles, while wildcards Alex Langley and Lauren Smith face Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse in the women's doubles.
A full playing schedule can be found on the official Badminton World Federation website.