Jacco Verhaeren is not a man prone to statements of grandiosity. In the recent climes of Australian swimming, where potential and results haven't always worked in perfect synchronicity, the Dolphins head coach has good reason to be guarded.
Yet even the contemplative Dutchman admits the wind has started to ever so gently fill the sails of the national squad after a strong showing at the Pan Pacs meet in Tokyo this week, an important mid-point on the way to the Olympics in the same city in 2020.
Big improver: Ariarne Titmus appears dejected after finishing second in the women's 400m freestyle final.
The Americans, more than 50-strong and scrambling for spots on the world championships roster next year, would not surprisingly top the medal table. But in some of the strategic pitched battles, the Australians have taken ground. In others, it has been an outright victory.
Framing Olympics ambitions purely through the prism of Australia v America isn't a particularly good metric in the modern version of the sport, even if the two nations have a celebrated rivalry in the water.
Much as Team USA was missing from the Commonwealth Games, where Australia had a predictably pleasant outing, then it's equally pertinent to remember that the Europeans have been busy with their own titles over the past week.