If James Guy could start major championships the way he finishes them he might have even more than the three world titles already under his belt.
After kicking off the World Swimming Championships in Budapest with underwhelming swims in both the 400m and 200m freestyle, Guy has bounced back in style.
Friday’s story looked like being his back-to-back British records in the 100m butterfly, where he has gone from possible finalist to medal contender.
But he saved the best for last, producing a sensational split of 1:43.80 to anchor Britain to 4x200m freestyle glory, just as he had two years ago in Kazan.
Only Sun Yang, Yannick Agnel and Michael Phelps have ever been quicker in a relay, illustrious company as the last three Olympic champions in the event.
For Guy to join them he will certainly have to hit his stride quicker than he has this week, but a change of programme could be the solution to his issues.
He said: “I don’t understand what’s happening. Every time I get faster and faster during the week and it’s peeing me off.
“Why can’t I do it at the start of the week? I think once I get into the meet… since the 400 free and 200 free have been done I’ve been more relaxed and just enjoying it.
“The 100 fly, coming into it, hasn’t meant anything. And I’ve got no pressure. They have the pressure, not me.
“Every single time I come to a meet it’s that burden on day one, get that out of the way and have a good swim. I’m thinking long term of maybe dropping that and focusing on the 200 free and both the fly (events).
“I’ve obviously got the endurance for the 400 and the power and speed for the 200, so why not just focus on the 200 free.”
The way Guy is closing out the meet shows that he more than simply Adam Peaty’s roommate, and he could yet pick up an individual medal in the 100m fly today.
While new American sensation Caeleb Dressel will take some stopping in the race for gold, Guy’s time of 50.67 would have earned him a silver medal – ahead of Phelps – in Rio last year.
He added: “I’ll just try to do the same thing tomorrow, give it all I’ve got. I know it’s there. I’ve just got to put it all together and hopefully have a good swim, go around the time I went tonight or maybe a bit faster.
“It’s going to be fast tomorrow night. I think something special could happen with Caeleb Dressel. That’s pretty swift, so fair play to him.”
You can help the next generation of young British swimmers by getting involved in SportsAid Week this September with five-time Paralympic champion Ellie Simmonds OBE. Find out more about how you can support the week of fun and fundraising by visiting www.sportsaid.org.uk/sportsaidweek.
Image courtesy of Gillette World Sport, via YouTube, with thanks.