The entrance alone was a hard act to follow.
But world champion Christian Sprenger made an even bigger statement in the pool in a 100m breaststroke display that would have made arch-rival Cameron van der Burgh sit up and take notice.
Breaststroke may not exactly be swimming’s glamour event.
However, Sprenger looked every inch the rock star when he emerged pool-side at the national titles in Brisbane on Thursday night donning a custom ankle-length hooded jacket sparkling with gold.
Dressed like a boxer ready for a prize fight, Sprenger came out swinging in the 100m breaststroke final to clinch it in a scorching 58.87 seconds – just outside his 58.79 personal best that pipped van der Burgh and claimed the 2013 world title in Barcelona.
And it was just shy of Brenton Rickard’s national record of 58.58 set in a 2009 supersuit.
It was a remarkable effort considering Sprenger was backing up from the 200m breaststroke, which he had added to his program for the first time in four years.
Not that you could tell.
Sprenger clocked an impressive two minutes, 08.63 seconds to claim 200m gold on Tuesday night.
He now has the Commonwealth’s No.1 200m ranking ahead of July’s Glasgow Games after finishing in a time that would have claimed 2013 world titles bronze.
However, he had been reluctant to keep the 200m due to the potential impact it could have on his 100m times.
That didn’t appear a problem after a beaming Sprenger unveiled his beloved new hoodie which he helped design and celebrated his 100m success on Thursday night.
“The 200m is back on the table,” he said.
“It is once again on my mind.
“I didn’t know how I was going to feel but today I realised I could really amp myself up – it’s possible.”
Sprenger said he would have donned his special hoodie for the 200m final but it didn’t arrive from the United States in time.
“I helped design it. I wanted something special for the nationals to really show that I meant business, something to remember me by for this meet,” he said.
“It’s a bit of a statement.”
One that Olympic champion van der Burgh no doubt heard loud and clear.