Adam Peaty hits gold as Britain start strong in Japan Open
Britain's swimmers have begun the Japan Open on the perfect note after opening the competition with four medals – despite coming off the back of an intense training camp.
Olympic champion Adam Peaty secured gold in the 100m breaststroke, while Kathleen Dawson – a double European medallist when just 18 – finished with 100m backstroke silver to her name.
But that wasn't all as James Guy not only picked up bronze, but also a personal best-equalling time in the 200m butterfly, while an impressive 1500m freestyle display saw Dan Jervis take to the same step on the podium.
The team had only just arrived from nine days of training in Thailand, but that didn't stop Peaty once again leading from the front.
The world record holder and Rio 2016 champion was forced to step up to the plate with a highly-competitive field, touching the wall first in the 100m breaststroke to take his place as Japan Open champion.
"I knew the Chinese would be fast and the Japanese would also step up," Peaty said to British Swimming. "I knew I had to get in the right frame of mind for the final despite how hard my training is at the moment. I didn't want to lose this race; I never like to lose.
"I learnt so much from being in second place in the heats that I just pushed on tonight. It was a great learning curve for me. I can learn so much more from coming here and experiencing the travel and competing against a different field."
TOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 19: (L-R) Zibei Yan of China, Adam Peaty of Great Britain and Ippei Watanabe of Japan pose on the podium with their medals after the 100m Breaststroke Final during the Japan Open 2017 at Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Pool on MayGetty Images
Meanwhile, Dawson's first overseas experience with the senior team proved its worth, as she was left celebrating a runner-up spot in the 100m backstroke.
That was also in a showing much improved from the heats, with the heavy gym sessions reaping their rewards on the big stage.
Success didn't end there in Tokyo as Guy also hit the podium in the 200m butterfly – a result even the 21-year-old had to give a double-take to in surprise.
A 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley silver medallist at Rio 2016, Guy is confident that it's a result that can only stand him in good stead, with a busy year once again on the horizon.
"That was a massive surprise for me," Guy said after stopping the clock in 1:55.61. "My heat was pretty fast and then tonight I equalled my PB so that was pretty good.
"That was the same time I did at trials and that was fully rested and tapered so this is a good sign. It's all about practising processes here. Each event is so stacked and it shows you have to work hard to make the finals."
Finally there was an early-season boost for Jervis in his 1500m freestyle race, delighted that the experience of training with Britain's senior heads could lead to positive results in the pool.