The life of a swimmer is a difficult one. There are many prices to pay, emotionally and physically, even in victory.
Laszlo Cseh won his fifth straight 200m individual medley title on Wednesday to add to the five consecutive golds he has won in the 400IM.
That may seem like cause for celebration. There is though a shadow over the softly-spoken Hungarian.
“I tried to give my best,” he said. “I have some mental things that have not given me the best shape.”
He has dropped the 400IM for now although he intends to return to it ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Psychologically and physically, the gruelling race has taken its toll. But it is the memory of the 2012 Olympics in London that still haunts the 28-year-old.
Drawn in the 400IM heats alongside Phelps, he decided to stick with the pace of the American, certain that would be sufficient to qualify.
He miscalculated though. The 22-time Olympic medallist was not in good shape for that particular event and only just scraped into the final in eighth. Leaving Cseh locked out by one place in ninth.
It was, says Cseh, “the worst mistake of my career”. And one that will seemingly live with for some time to come.
If Cseh is the king of European medley, his fellow Hungarian Katinka Hosszu is the queen.
Winner of three medals in last night’s session, the 25-year-old posed for photographers on poolside. There was a kiss for husband and coach Shane Tusup. And there was a natty pair of trainers too. Multi-coloured with an orange trim. Inlaid with diamante too, flashing under the velodrome lights.
As well as quality racing in the pool, there was pre-finals entertainment from a samba band on poolside.
There were multi-coloured headdresses for the women and tumbling from the men.
Much of the wiggling was caught on camera and film. Much of it directed at the women’s bottoms.
Drops came along. He joined in with the samba. Dancing with the women. High-fiving.
Off danced the band. And in a continuation of the Brazilian theme, on came the Macarena. Joy for Drops.