Team GB made a splash in the water once again in Tokyo when Tom Dean sealed our fourth gold medal at the Olympic Games.
The 21-year-old contracted COVID for a second time six months ago and struggled to even climb the stairs, but beat team member Duncan Scott to win the 200m freestyle.
In the triathlon, Georgia Taylor-Brown didn’t let a puncture on the last lap of the bike leg stop her from taking silver, losing to Bermuda’s Flora Duffy.
Taylor-Brown’s success also comes a day after Alex Yee’s silver.
Dean, though, who became the first British man to win an Olympic freestyle title in 113 years explained he had up to seven weeks out – unheard of in an Olympic year.
“When I was sitting in my flat in isolation, Olympic gold seemed like a million miles off. But here we are,” he said.
“I had a few pretty frank conversations with staff at the Bath National Centre [where he trains], speaking about previous swimmers who had come back from injuries, but this was slightly different because it wasn’t so clear cut.
“I think I was one of the first athletes in any British Olympic sport to contract Covid twice in such a short space of time, so there were quite a few question marks around it.
“I’m thinking ‘how am I going to be able to recover from this in time to get a solid block of work under my belt before we start tapering for Olympic trials?’
“I had to post some pretty quick times in the 200 free because of how stacked it is within Great Britain. There were a few question marks around but my coach kept me grounded and just built me slowly back up to where I am now.
“It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true to wear Olympic gold around my neck.”
Taylor-Brown, meanwhile, celebrated an emotional medal with her appearance in Tokyo in serious doubt a few weeks ago.
The 27-year-old was on crutches 12 weeks ago and had to prove she was fit enough to compete before joining her team at the Games.
“That was probably more stressful than today, because it could have been taken away from me, but I proved that I was fit, I was ready to go, I did more than they asked me to do,” she said.
“Obviously it’s strange to come into an Olympic Games not having raced since last September. I got a stress response in my femur 12 weeks ago. So that was a bit of a shock.”
And in the race, she lost 22 seconds thanks to her puncture before setting out on the 10km run and quickly overtook team-mate Jess Learmonth, Laura Lindemann of Germany and Katie Zaferes of the United States heading into the final lap.
“I did have a panic. I decided not to stop and change my wheel and just see what happens now,” she said of the bike leg.
“I went really hard for the first lap of the run. I suffered after that but it paid off. I was biding my time, I was five seconds off [Zaferes] for quite a while. I didn’t want to push it too soon because I was really suffering but I really wanted to move up and get the silver medal.”
With 10 medals in total so far, this is the best start for a British team in Games history – and the highest number of gold medals for Britain at this point.
Team GB won 65 medals at London 2012, followed by 67 in Rio four years later – finishing second in the medal table.
Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Charlotte Fry are all in action in the dressage team final on day four, while Team GB’s gymnastic team are up, too.
Bianca Walkden will aim to make up for close pal Jade Jones’ loss when she competes in the +67kg event.