David Wilkie, Scotland's greatest swimmer, last night reminded Ross Murdoch that he would be judged on his ability to win multiple major titles after the hero of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games was narrowly beaten to gold at the European Championships in Berlin.
Murdoch went into the 200 metres breaststroke final as the fastest man in the world this year, but Germany's Marco Koch held off his late dart in a way Michael Jamieson was unable to in Glasgow, forcing Murdoch to settle for another silver medal to go with the one he won in the 100m on Tuesday.
The Stirling-based 20-year-old can now perhaps appreciate what Jamieson went through at Tollcross Park, upstaged by an irresistible force. His own time of 2min 07.77sec was, again, world-class, but Koch swam 2:07.47 to rank sixth in the all-time list.
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What the events of the last few weeks have proved, in 200m breaststroke terms, is that next year's World Championships and the Rio Olympics of 2016 could bear witness to some of the greatest racing the sport has seen, with two Scots at the centre of the scramble for gold medals and world records.
"It's phenomenal that we have two of the fastest 200m swimmers in the world," Wilkie told Herald Sport. "We've never really had that before in British swimming, let alone Scottish swimming, but it's about proving yourself in an area
like the Olympic Games, which really does separate the men from the boys."
Disregarding short-course accolades, Wilkie remains
the last able-bodied Scottish male to have conquered the continent - he won two gold medals in 1974 - after Murdoch failed narrowly to do what Kirsty Balfour and Hannah Miley have done for the female contingent in recent years.
"Every record is there to
be broken," said Wilkie. "I still retain the one of being the only Scot to win every single major championships and it's about winning Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, World and European Championships - and that's what these guys have got to do if they want
"The way Ross swam at the Commonwealth Games, you would have expected him to win that race tonight but the home crowd plays a huge role and the German guy was a little bit too strong.
"You don't get too
many shots to be European champion and I think he will look upon this as a missed opportunity. Of course, if you had offered him two European silver medals at the start of the summer he would have taken it but the Commonwealth Games changed everything and he might see this result as a bit
of a failure."
Britain's overall performance in Berlin has been anything but a failure. On top of Murdoch's silver brace the team have
now won five gold medals,
with Jazz Carlin the latest to top the podium in last night's 800m freestyle, and 16 in all.