He knew he was going to have a punishing experience at the Fina World Junior Swimming Championships yesterday, but he felt prepared and confident.
At the end, though, Michael Andrew fell spectacularly short, failing to even win a medal in all three individual events at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, collecting only a bronze in the mixed team 4x100m medley relay.
The American, hailed in some quarters as the next big thing in swimming, was a good bet in the men's 100m breaststroke, where his seed time placed him second overall, but Michael flopped and could only touch the wall in fourth place.
He headed the field going into the 200m individual medley, but fared even worse, clocking a pedestrian time of 2:06.54, and eventually placed seventh after the disqualification of Spain's Hugo Gonzalez.
Speaking after his events last night, the 16-year-old said: "In my eyes, I was terrible tonight, but that's because I am a tough critic of myself.
"I was very disappointed in the 100m breast because I missed out on a podium, and the same for the 100m back," he added, referring to his fourth-placed finish in the 100m backstroke in 54.88sec.
"Coming into today's races, I knew I had a good chance of standing on the podium, maybe even winning some of the races, but I didn't set myself up well to do that. I should have done fewer events."
However, he insisted there was still reason to smile.
Michael, said: "I am happy with today's swims even though they weren't world-class ones. I don't define myself by how good I am in the pool, I am too blessed to stress."
"To have the opportunity to come here and race in so many events is already incredible," added the 1.95m-tall teenager, who still has 50m events in all four stroke disciplines coming up.
His teammate Maxime Rooney had a much better outing on the second day of the championships.
The 17-year-old clinched one of the United States' two golds yesterday, after winning the men's 200m freestyle in 1:47.78sec, outside the official world junior record of 1:47.23, set by Japan's Reo Sakata last year.
Said Rooney said: "Actually, at the US Nationals (earlier this month), I went 1:47.10, so I've broken the world junior record, I just don't think it's verified, yet.
"I was definitely thinking about (breaking the record), but I am happy with the swim... I've won at least a gold medal, my goal for the meet has been accomplished."
Sierra Schmidt was the other gold medal winner for the US, after she bagged the women's 800m freestyle in 8:27.55.
Team USA are second in the overall medal standings with three golds, five silvers and three bronze medals. Australia lead with four gold medals and two silvers.
This article was first published on August 27, 2015.
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