Cameron McEvoy spent the afternoon answering questions on a maths assignment and knows his Rio rivals will be doing their homework on him after he demolished the field in the 100m freestyle final at the Olympic qualifiers in Adelaide on Monday night.
With rising star Kyle Chalmers and Olympic silver medallist James Magnussen desperate to fire, McEvoy unleashed a blistering swim to hit the wall in a new Australian record of 47.04 seconds, with 17-year-old Chalmers taking the second spot in a new best of 48.03, a new junior world record.
McEvoy, still just 21, was airborne. The time was the third-fastest in history and the fastest ever swum outside of the supersuit era of 2008 and 2009. Cesar Cielo's (supersuit) world record of 46.91 now looks within reach and McEvoy might have broken that too if he knew how fast he was travelling.
"It felt no different to any other race. If I had known I was that close there might have been something in me that could have pushed me a bit further. It's unbelievable. It makes me know that me and (Coach) Richard (Scarce) are doing the right thing," McEvoy said.
The swim was a huge confidence booster ahead of the Rio Games but the physics student knows he now has the weight of the swimming world on his shoulders as he heads to Brazil as a marked man.
Magnussen, who was a fraction of a second off gold in London, was the top dog ahead of that meet but just missed out to American Nathan Adrian in a nail-biting finish. This time around, he will have to be content with a relay swim at best.
"It puts me in a good position going to Rio. In saying that, we've had a history of world numbers ones going in first and not coming out with the gold," McEvoy said. "The Olympics is notorious for not always producing the best time to win it and that's just because the mental game, being able to step up on the day, is levels above anywhere else. I'm very much aware of that.
"And I'm very much aware that everyone else in the world will be watching this race and firing them up to get back into training at 5am the next morning to try and beat me. While it's good, I can't sit back and relax and think it's going to come without anymore effort in Rio."
Chalmers, an Adelaide native, had the support of the home crowd and shielded himself from media in the days before the race. He said that helped him focus for what was easily the biggest race of his life. Now he gets an individual spot at an Olympic Games.
"It was hard for me, those guys like to go out pretty quick. I had to say calm in that first 50. It was good for me because the back end is the strongest part of my race. I just enjoyed the experience of racing against those bigger guys," Chalmers said.
"I was in an outside lane, I didn't have the pressure and didn't have the articles written about me, which was good for me."
James Roberts was third and represents a great comeback story. He's had multiple shoulder surgeries after a disappointing showing in London and was highly emotional after booking his spot on what looks a formidable 4 x 100m relay outfit.
For Magnussen, it was heartbreak handled with humility. This time four years ago he swam a 47.10 in this very pool. On Monday night, he just couldn't go when the next generation hit full throttle.
"I guess that's just where I'm at. I've done everything physically... there was nothing else I could have done. I left it all out there tonight. I couldn't see him (Cam). But red-hot time. Quickest time in four years. It's good," Magnussen said.
The team won't be official until Thursday night but he vowed to put the head down and fire if, as will be the case, he gets the green light for the relay squad. That team in itself has plenty of lost time to make up for after failing badly in London when hot favourites.
"It's a good team, strong team, I believe there's still a bit of improvement in that team. It's a high-pressure race, it's hard to do your best time in that kind of a race. Hopefully myself and James (Roberts) can drop a bit of time."