It was expected to be the moment when Mack Horton was finally anointed the distant king.
Instead, it was the man who, just three years ago, ended a full shot behind her hero who claimed his place in the amazing story of 1500m.
Jack McLoughlin attacked the famous race to lead from start to finish, a gutsy performance from a man excited to write his name in history along with a legion of distance stars, including Grant Hackett, Kieren Perkins and Steve Holland.
The race was expected to be the Mack and Jack show.
But most Horton expected to finally snare the 1500m title he had wanted after a long time.
McLoughlin had other ideas, however, using wisdom a lunch with former coach Laurie Lawrence to embrace the pain of the big race to hold Welshman Daniel Jervis able to reach the wall for 14 min 47.09 sec for to record a famous victory.
"(Lawrence) said 1500m is all mental and when you're hurt you have to tighten the screws even more," said McLoughlin. Brisbanes 23-year-old is considered one of the toughest workers in Australian swimming.
As expected, McLoughlin performed, knowing that Horton's speed would be too big to resist in the final stages if he was not in the lead.
Horton moved on to his shoulder after 500m, but McLoughlin continued to push and at that time Horton was expected to challenge McLoughlin kicked back and pushed through the pain.
"I could hear the crowd that has just encouraged me for the last 300m," said McLoughlin.
"I was so sorry. I knew he had a strong back end, and I knew Mack could get a good sprint as well."
"I just tried to hold on for dear life."
Horton finished third after Jervis at 14:51.05 and only praised his rival.
"Jack is probably one of the hardest workers," Horton said. "I'm glad for him to win. I thought if someone beat me, I would like it to be Jack. McLoughlin beat Horton for the first time in last month's Games trial, where he got the faith he now drove to win, instead of just eating Horton, the man saluted as Australia's next major 1500m champion.
It was not always so.
When the couple was in front of the 2015 nationals in Sydney, McLoughlin finished a full step behind Horton, but he wants to head to Tokyo as Australia's best chance in the famous race with Horton, but safe to tell 1500m from its schedule to concentrate on 200m and 400m, as well as the 800m that will make its debut on the Olympic program in 2020.
McLoughlin credits Horton to drive him for quick times and more work in the pool.  "It's great to have some of the caliber, an Olympic champion because you know every time you come to a meeting, I'll beat the best in the world if I want to win," McLoughlin said.  "It hurts me really hard in training."
"When j I first drove Mack three years ago, he had 50m on me with Sydney citizens. "
Horton gave the biggest indication yet on these games his future must not include 1500m.
However, his silver medal in 200m behind Kyle Chalmers on these games, won after spending almost a second from his previous best, could force him to rethink his strategy.
"I think I know what I can do, but I've just worked on it," said Horton.
"It's going to help 400m so I'll review my entire event structure, I think."
"Looking forward to Tokyo, which is ultimately the goal, I have to find a balance between 200m, 400m , 800m and 1500m and where I'm sitting. "