Archer Alison Williamson claimed bronze for Britain in the final of the women's individual 70m event, ending her 12-year pursuit of an Olympic medal.
The trainee primary school teacher, competing at her fourth Olympics, defeated Chinese Taipei's Shun Chi Yuan in a tense third-fourth spot shoot-out.
The 32-year-old was tied with her opponent at 97-97 with one arrow left.
But Williamson kept her head to score an eight, while Yuan could only hit a seven to lose the encounter 105-104.
"I'm really happy. It's a fantastic journey that I've been on and this is the end result," Williamson said.
"It was a bit of a nerve-wracker. I didn't want to look. Mentally it was tough."
But the Briton, who made her Olympic debut in Barcelona in 1992, admitted she was inspired by the historic surroundings in which she was forced to do battle.
The Panathinaiko Stadium was the venue for the
1896 Games and Shropshire-based Williamson said: "Every time I walked down that tunnel I
thought it was amazing.
"It would be nice to come and see it when I am not competing."
British Olympic Association chef de mission Simon Clegg said he was delighted to see Williamson finally land a medal after coming so close in Sydney in 2000, where she reached the last 16.
He said: "It's been a long time and she's worked hard over the years.
"She was seen as a contender four years ago. I am delighted at this stage of
her career that she has won a medal."
Earlier Williamson saw off China's He Ying to progress to the semi-final - but top seed South Korea's Park Sung-Hyun proved too good and pipped the Briton 100-110.
Former world champion Park went on to claim the gold medal, beating
compatriot Lee Sung-Jin 110-108 in the final to maintain her country's domination in Olympic archery.
Williamson's encounter with Ying - a silver medallist in Atlanta in 1996 - ended in high drama as the Chinese ace was red-carded for shooting out of turn.
As a penalty, her highest scoring shot, a 10, was deducted.
She also missed her 10th shot in the 12-arrow shoot-out while her coach was
embroiled in a heated exchange with officials.
It left Williamson needing just two low-scoring shots to go through.
And she had no problem in delivering and signed off with a perfect 10 and a nine to win 109-89 and Ying broke down in tears.
China planned to appeal against the result, but failed to register their protest within the allotted time.
Meanwhile, Williamson's team-mate Naomi Folkard went out at the 1/16 elimination stage, losing to Korean Sung Hyun Park 171-159.
But GB's Laurence Godfrey is into the last 16 of the men's 70m individual - he returns to action on Thursday.