Criticism spurred James Guy on to claim 200metres freestyle bronze at the European Championships in London.
The 2015 world champion over four lengths is training through the competition at London’s Aquatics Centre and on Monday was 27th following the heats of the 400m freestyle.
Guy swam the 400m – in which he won world silver in Kazan – in traditional briefs, rather than the thigh-length trunks permitted and reacted to some criticism for not taking the event seriously with a pointed remark.
“If you don’t know me, don’t judge me,” Guy wrote on Twitter.
But Guy let his swimming do the talking last night, clocking one minute 46.46 seconds to finish 0.40secs behind winner Sebastiaan Verschuren of Holland. Velimir Stjepanovic took silver.
“I used it as a bit of fuel,” said the 20-year-old from Bury, who trains at Millfield School in Somerset.
“A lot of people are using this as their trials for the Olympic Games whereas ours were a month ago [in Glasgow].
“I did not want to jeopardise three weeks of fitness for this meet. I wanted to train through, race hard and rough tough.
“Obviously it didn’t work on Monday, with the skimpy things [trunks]. I’ve tried it, move on, forget about it.
“I did not want to let [the public] down. My 400 was a bit of an off one but the 200 tonight was a great race for me. I’m happy with that.”
Britain’s swimmers are training throughout the European Championships, with August’s Olympics the target.
Guy, who has relay swims to come, was still sporting heavy stubble and will swim 11km in two sessions on Thursday, with Rio on his mind.
He added: “To get a bronze here, I am happy. It’s nice to have that as an extra. It is important but it is about the time. That’s the most important thing.
“Medals are about summer. That’s it. It is great preparation for Rio.”
There was another bronze in the women’s 100m breaststroke as Chloe Tutton took third place behind Plymouth-based Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte.
Cardiff’s Tutton finished in 1:07.50, with Meilutyte clocking 1:06.17 and Iceland’s Hrafnhildu Luthersdottir second in 1:06.45. Loughborough’s Molly Renshaw was seventh in 1:07.93.
“That was incredible,” the 19-year-old Tutton said.
“I did a best time and to have landed a bronze was more than I could ever have dreamed of today. I’m delighted with what I’ve done.”
Meilutyte said: “I’m very pleased. I’m happy to post consistent times, being in hard training still and unrested. It’s very good for me. Hopefully I’ll learn some things from this race and carry it to Rio.”
Adam Peaty won the corresponding men’s event on Tuesday, with Ross Murdoch second.
Yesterday, Murdoch was fastest qualifier for the men’s 200m breaststroke.
The 22-year-old University of Stirling swimmer clocked 2:09.72. Craig Benson is first reserve for the eight-man final after finishing in 2:11.93.
Siobhan O’Connor and Hannah Miley were second and third fastest, respectively, in qualifying for the women’s 200m individual medley final.
Bath’s O’Connor finished in 2:10.17 and Miley of Garioch 2:12.39, as 400m winner Katinka Hosszu of Hungary advanced quickest in 2:08.60.
The corresponding men’s race was won by Andreas Vazaios of Greece in 1:58.18.
Britons Max Litchfield (2:00.71) and Dan Wallace (2:00.92) were seventh and eighth, respectively.
Kathleen Dawson and Georgia Davies advanced to the women’s 100m backstroke final in second and seventh place, respectively.
But Chris Walker-Hebborn was only 12th in the men’s 50m backstroke, to miss out on a place in the final.