With Peaty tipped to become his country’s first male champion in the Olympic pool since Adrian Moorhouse won the 100m breaststroke in Seoul in 1988, one can imagine the rule has been sorely tested.
At London 2012, the British men took only one medal — a silver for Michael Jamieson in 200m breaststroke. In 2008 in Beijing, when Rebecca Adlington struck gold twice, the only men’s medal was in the open water.
Peaty was not even born the last time a British man triumphed in the Olympic pool, although he has seen the 1988 race on video, and does not feel any particular burden of expectation.
Indeed, as he showed in Kazan where he beat South Africa’s Olympic 100m champion Cameron van der Burgh in both the breaststroke sprints, he thrives on pressure.
“I’m going in as number one but what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like someone’s holding a gun at the end of the lane. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m just going to give it a good go,” he told reporters.
“I’m going in to my first Olympics whereas people I’m racing are going into their third and fourth and probably last Olympics. So there’s more pressure on them to perform.
“I’ve still got a whole future ahead of me. I am not even the Olympic champ.”