Adam Peaty could be winning Olympic medals in Tokyo and beyond, according to the man in charge of British Swimming.
Bill Furniss guided Rebecca Adlington throughout her career but took the sport’s top job when she retired - making an instant impact following a disappointing Olympics for the swim team in 2012.
After their most successful World Championships last year, Furniss’s team won six medals in Rio, their best swim meet in recent memory.
Peaty’s 100m breaststroke victory - he also picked up 4x100m medley silver - was the catalyst and Furniss is rightly excited about the 21-year-old’s future.
“If we’ve learned one thing from this Olympics it’s that men’s swimming is getting older - look at the amount of medallists in their late 20s and even 30s,” he said.
“Adam is only 21, he’s only going to get bigger and stronger. Loads of the other guys are around his age too, and that’s got to be really exciting for the future, especially if you look at something like our medley relay squad.
“You can’t underestimate what he does for the team. When he wins it’s infectious, it lifts everyone, gives everyone a sense of belief.”
City of Derby’s Peaty and influential coach Mel Marshall are already thinking ahead, with next year’s World Championships in Budapest the target.
He is already the world champion at 50m and 100m breaststroke but, with the shorter discipline not on the Olympic programme, he may look at the 200m breaststroke - with the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast a good place to experiment.
Furnish expects lots of attention on his star swimmer but has no worries it will go to his head.
"I know what Adam Peaty does and what he does is unbelievable," he added.
"I see him regularly and see the work he's put in. And he's had a very measured improvement, you can see where he's come from. That guy is 100 per cent the model of what a swimmer should be.
"It won't affect him and you could not meet a more grounded individual. I know his coach Mel (Marshall) will certainly look after him and I know his agent really well.
"You've got three good things: a great coach, a great athlete who'll keep his feet on the ground and great people who are managing him.”