James Wilby set the bar high after a stellar first year at Loughborough, but the 21-year-old swimmer is adamant he can make an even bigger splash in 2015.
Wilby upped sticks to Loughborough University last season as he aimed to leave his mark on the international stage.
And the 21-year-old did exactly that at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, reaching the final of the 100 metres and 200m breaststroke as well as helping England claim 4x100m medley gold after swimming in the heat.
All this means that heading into his second year at Loughborough, more will be expected of Wilby, especially at this month’s British Swimming Championships in London.
But the man in the spotlight is not worried about living with the added pressure, and is instead looking to use it to his advantage as he looks to secure himself a plane ticket to Russia for this summer’s World Championships.
“As a whole I had a very good first year at Loughborough, but now it is about improving on that and building on what I did in 2014,” he said.
“The goal in coming down to Loughborough was to make a final at the British Championships, so when I finished fourth in both the 200m and 400m breaststroke and qualified for the Commonwealth Games I was over the moon.
“And then the Commonwealth Games was the best experience of my life, particularly swimming the relay heat and then watching the race as we won the gold medal.
“But now it is about moving on from that in my second year and the aim for this year’s British Championships is for a podium finish after coming so close last year.
“To realistically get a spot on the World Championships team I will need to finish first or second at the British Championships but I want a podium at least.”
Wilby knows a podium place at the British Championships is easier said than done considering he is going up against world record holder and fellow England team-mate Adam Peaty.
But Wilby is welcoming the challenge of going up against the best around.
“It is fantastic to have guys like Adam and Andrew Willis to compete against,” he added.
“British breaststroke is so strong at the moment and that spurs me on.
“There are a lot of fast guys at the moment and I see quite a bit of Adam as he trains in Loughborough and I see him and I know that is the level I want to reach.
“So to go up against him and learn from him is great and hopefully I can challenge him.”
© Sportsbeat 2015