Duncan Scott made history as the first British Olympian ever to win four medals at a single Games and yet you got the impression that he still was not satisfied. 

Some of that was likely the initial disappointment at having to settle for silver in the men’s 4x100 medley relay, his third silver of the meet in addition to the gold won on the 4x200m freestyle relay. 

GB came in as world champions and led at the halfway stage before eventually coming home second in a European record, behind the USA in a new world record. 

However, Scott’s disappointment also underlines the incredibly high standards he sets. Even the day after winning that relay gold and achieving his dream of becoming Olympic champion, there was frustration at missing the world record by three hundredths.

It is that drive and unwillingness to settle that typifies the performance of GB’s swimmers in Tokyo, breaking a record that dated all the way back to 1908 for the best-ever medal return in the pool at the Olympics.

Eight medals in all, including four golds, was good enough for third on the medal table and reflects just what a remarkable turnaround it has been for the British swimming team in the nine years since London 2012. 

Scott was just 15 then, as Michael Jamieson’s silver and Becky Adlington’s pair of bronzes were all the swimmers could add to the incredible GB medal rush.

He has topped that tally on his own, even if he is happy to leave the limelight to his relay partners and, in particular, Adam Peaty. 

The magnitude of his achievement will take a while to sink in, topping the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bradley Wiggins in the process.

“The week as a whole, because of what I do in terms of parking each event and moving onto the next one, it’s not really hit me with what’s happened," said Scott, who is able to train full-time and benefit from world class facilities, technology, coaching and support teams thanks to National Lottery funding – which has never been more important in getting her to the start line after a turbulent year.

“I’ve tried to do little media to get me ready for the next race. It’s just been a pleasure being a part of this team, the way that it’s grown over the last couple of years. The depth we’ve now have in each event, it just seemed every finals session there was an opportunity for something special. Just a great week to be a part of.”

Scott is a considered speaker, less exuberant than the likes of Peaty or James Guy, but measured in his answers. In Tokyo he has been more reticent, a laser focus on his hectic schedule leaving little time for talking about his achievements. 

They speak for themselves, but fortunately, his teammates are also willing to articulate just how special an athlete he is. 

Peaty said: “I don’t think he understands… he’s just an incredible athlete. For me I just hope he gets the respect and the recognition he deserves back home.

"I just hope all of these guys in this British swimming team, the best in history, get the recognition they deserve. Cos it’s been so hard to do this. We’re third in the medal table alone, at the Olympics. No-one ever thought we could be there after London. To have Duncan on the team is very inspiring.” 

Scott now has six Olympic medals to his name at the age of 24. Only Wiggins, Hoy and Jason Kenny have more.

Swimming is a young man’s sport, but even so, there is no reason to think that Scott cannot overtake Wiggins’ record of eight Olympic medals, particularly with Paris just three years away.

Thanks to National Lottery funding our Olympians and Paralympians have been able to train full time and benefit from world class facilities, technology, coaching and support teams. This has never been more important in getting them to the start line after a turbulent year. 

No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £36 million each week for good causes including grassroots and elite sport. Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has at http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #MakeAmazingHappen