Capital swimmer Dan Wallace landed a superb silver medal in the 4x200 freestyle final but admitted his relief at returning to form at just the right time.
The Warrender swimmer, 23, was forced to shake-up his system ahead of Rio by moving back to the UK from Florida and desperately hoped he could make the changes required to contribute here.
But, in tandem with fellow Scots Stephen Milne, Duncan Scott and Englishman James Guy, he pulled out a superb third leg that helped the British squad see off Japan with the USA long gone out of sight.
“It’s quite a relief to be back on form,” Wallace said. “Obviously, I didn’t have a great trials. But I knew what I was capable of doing. I just had to re-focus and work a few things out. I’m really glad I’m back to my best.”
When he took over to go up against American legend Ryan Lochte, there was a weight on his mind with a medal hanging in the balance.
“But I think I always react to pressure,“ said Wallace. “I enjoy it. I enjoy the big shows so racing against those guys here was unbelievable.”
Guy delivered the dominant display he’d wanted to make up for coming fourth in the 200 freestyle but he had to bow to Michael Phelps, who struck gold twice in an hour to extend his record tally to 21.
“He’s the greatest of all-time so to share that experience and go head-to-head with the Americans and Michael was pretty special,” Wallace added. “It’s what I dreamed of as a boy. So it was great to be able to compete with them. I look up to him but it’s great to also have him as a rival.”
Craig Benson missed out on a spot in the 200m breaststroke final after coming seventh in a semi-final won by British team-mate Andrew Willis. The 22-year-old from Livingston nudged out training partner Ross Murdoch from the team via the UK trials but he could only match his finish from London 2012 despite a quicker time than his heat that left him an unlucky 13th.
“It’s really disappointing,” he said. “I really thought I could have swum my best time and that would have had a good shot of getting into the final. But the guys were really quick anyway so it would have taken a pretty big personal best for me to take it back.”
Elsewhere, Siobhan Marie O’Connor landed the third British medal in the pool with silver in the 200m individual medley.