That’s how it used to be in British Swimming, says Adam Peaty, “like people were happy just to be there”. That’s the way it was in 2012. The Olympic pool was a pretty depressing place to spend those Games if you wanted to see British athletes succeeding. Michael Jamieson won a silver, Becky Adlington won a pair of bronze medals, and there were what seemed a string of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishes, all talking about how delighted they were to be in an Olympic final. It was a similar story at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, too.
And now, here they are, third in the swimming medal table behind the USA and Australia. They won eight medals this past week, which made it the most successful Olympics the team have had.