Silver does not suit Adam Peaty. The medal hanging around his neck as he spoke on the final day of action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre would be a prized possession for most.
For a champion like Peaty, though, second place is never enough. Nor is it now enough for the rest of this record-breaking British team, in what is a significant shift in attitude from Games gone by.
Take Duncan Scott. He became the first Team GB athlete to win four medals at a single Olympics on Sunday and yet could not hide his disappointment at narrowly missing out on two individual titles and a world record.
Team GB won silver in the 4x100m relay but the colour no longer suits the improving squad
Adam Peaty helped GB to eight medals, with four golds as they stride forwards as contenders
Or look at James Guy, the winner of two relays earlier in the week, who described the silver in the men’s 4x100metres medley as ‘upsetting’.
As for Peaty, who was hoping to become just the fourth Brit to win three golds at one Games after Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and 1908 swimmer Henry Taylor?
‘I felt the pain of what it is like coming second and I don’t like it at all,’ he said.
The rest of the world has been put on watch. And that includes the USA and Australia, the only nations to finish above Britain in the swimming medal table. Peaty added: ‘Ten years ago we were happy making finals. We aren’t happy making finals any more. That’s the culture that is different now and that’s part of our success.
‘We are always looking for gold, always looking for world records. We are aiming to be the best in the world and dominate the world.
A stunning four Olympic medals for Duncan Scott still wasn't quite enough for the British star
‘How do you do that when there is such depth and such a strong team in America? That’s going to be the golden question over the next three years. By the time Paris comes around, we are going to develop as a team. I think a lot of teams are going to look at us.
‘I’m incredibly proud to be part of this team — it’s history-making.’
Indeed it is, with Team GB taking home four golds, three silvers and a bronze from Tokyo, eclipsing their previous best haul of seven at London 1908. The last time the Games were held in London was less successful. The mere three medals they won eight years ago led to an overhaul of the leadership team at British Swimming.
In came Australian