SINGAPORE - She was unbeatable in the women's 200m butterfly at four previous South-east Asia (SEA) Games, but could only struggle to a bronze this year in Myanmar.
She won four golds at this year's Games - the 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 4x200m freestyle relay and the 4x100m medley relay - compared to the seven she hauled in two years ago in Palembang, Indonesia.
But Tao Li is satisfied.
And Singapore's only Olympic swimming finalist will now chart a course towards a "three-peat" in the women's 50m fly in her final Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, next year.
Speaking to The New Paper after touching down at Changi Airport Terminal 2 early yesterday morning, Tao Li said: "I felt I did pretty well at the SEA Games, and I am hoping for my third consecutive gold medal in the 50m fly at my last Asian Games next year.
"I am only third (behind China's Lu Ying and Japan's Yuka Kato) in the event this season and I'm confident of doing well in South Korea next year, as well as the 2015 SEA Games here.
"I am willing to do everything I can to do well."
Next year's Asiad will be held in Incheon from Sept 19 to Oct 4, and the 23-year-old will look to defend the women's 50m fly title she won in 2006 and 2010.
She also bagged a bronze and silver in the 100m fly in 2006 and 2010, respectively.
Ahead of her Asian Games bid, she plans to train in Hubei next month, and will then do aerobic work at high-altitude in Kunming with the provincial team the following month.
She will then compete in the Asian Games time trials in March, before jetting off to Australia to train for another three months.