For a myopic teenager who can barely see his hand in front of his face, Australiaâ€™s Mack Horton has a laser-sharp focus on his bid to restore his nationâ€™s dynasty in the 1,500 metres freestyle.
Swimmingâ€™s most gruelling pool event holds a special fascination in Australia, which has produced an honour-roll of 1,500 champions since Andrew â€œBoyâ€ Charlton at the 1924 Paris Olympics.
â€œIâ€™m definitely aware of all the greats, Murray Rose, Kieren Perkins, (Grant) Hackett,â€ 18-year-old Horton told Reuters in a telephone interview of the legacy of Australia winning eight of the 24 Olympic titles in the race since the 1908 London Games.
â€œIâ€™ve grown up through the Hackett era, so thatâ€™s probably what I know best.
â€œTheyâ€™re massive shoes to fill â€¦ Iâ€™m just doing what I can do and do the best that I can do whilst enjoying it.â€