He wanted to go quicker but timing proved to be everything for Adam Peaty, who admitted the result was all that mattered after coming from behind to claim 100m breaststroke gold at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
In general, Great Britain's swimmers enjoyed a fine second night of swimming action as they claimed three medals, with Ross Murdoch and Siobhan-Marie O'Connor appearing on the podium, but it was Peaty who shone brightest.
All eyes were on the reigning European and Commonwealth champion after Peaty had set a new world record at April's British Championships – winning the title in 57.92 seconds.
However, at the halfway stage it was the man who's record Peaty beat – Cameron Van Der Burgh – who was leading, the South African turning 0.41 seconds ahead of the Brit.
But Peaty wasn’t finished and powered home to take gold in his maiden World Championships, touching home just 0.07 seconds ahead of the South African.
"I'm a little dissatisfied with the time but in the World Championship final, all that matters is the win and I’m very glad I came out on top,” Peaty told British Swimming.
"Cameron put up a really tough fight and that's something I'm going to be looking at next year.
"It's my first World Championships so I'm not quite used to it all yet. If you slip for one moment, in one race, you’re off. I’m still getting used to that but hopefully by next year in Rio, I'll be up and running."
There was more for Great Britain to celebrate in the 100m breaststroke final as Murdoch took bronze despite being seventh at the turn – the Scot putting in the fastest return 50m to claim the final podium spot.
"I had a rotten swim last night [in the semi-final]," said Murdoch. "It was really, really bad and slower than my heats swim. I came in tonight with a really relaxed attitude.
"I'm a back end swimmer, a 200m swimmer. I can't follow those boys out in the first 50m so I have to work to my strength tonight and play it down the back end.
"I've had illness this year which meant I didn't qualify for the 200m and that was a little upsetting. But I've had the focus on the 100m to try and develop the front end for the 200m next year and as much as I’m pleased with a world bronze medal here, this isn’t the end."
And there was more success to come as O'Connor dug deep to claim her maiden World Championship medal with bronze in the 200m individual medley final.
With Hungarian defending champion Katinka Hosszu blasting clear to set a new world record, O'Connor was battling the rest of the field for a place on the podium.
And while Kanako Watanabe of Japan overtook her in the final metres to clinch silver, the 19-year old Brit was able to hold off fast-finishing American Maya Di Rado to claim a medal, with compatriot Hannah Miley one place back in fifth.
"I'm so happy to win bronze," said O'Connor, who won the Commonwealth title in Glasgow last year. "I just really wanted to come here and win a medal so I'm chuffed to bits to come away with one.
"That last length really hurt but I just had to try and dig deep to hold on really.
"From the start of the season until now, the focus for this year has been to come here and swim well. The team are doing really well and we’re off to a great start and I’m really pleased to be part of it."
Commonwealth champion Ben Proud was the only other British finalist on the night, finishing eighth in the 50m butterfly.
But there could yet be more medals tomorrow as four British swimmers produced strong semi-final swims to reach tomorrow night's finals.
Having won 400m freestyle silver last night, James Guy set his sights on a second World medal as he won his 200m freestyle semi-final to qualify second fastest for the final and set a new British record of 1:45.43 minutes.
Liam Tancock and Chris Walker-Hebborn both secured spots in the 100m backstroke final and Lauren Quigley will also be in 100m backstroke final action on day three after touching third in her semi-final. The 20-year old progressed in eighth while teammate Lizzie Simmonds was 13th overall.
© Sportsbeat 2015