Best-ever British display bodes well for London
The most fascinating swimming meet in history is over and if I was going to give you the highlights I'd still be writing this a week on Tuesday! So I'm going to be completely biased and focus on Team GB.
Fast-forward 50 weeks and the British swimming team have won seven medals and never looked so good at a World Swimming Championships.
The success has come in spite of a feast of 43 world records being set, our double Olympic champion having a far from perfect week, and six fourth-place finishes that could have been podium performances.
It all bodes well for London in three years time.
We have also seen first hand this week what a difference a home crowd can make.
The Foro Italico has produced a unique atmosphere at the 13th World Swimming Championships and anything the London organising committee for the Olympic Games can do to replicate the way this event has been staged will be welcomed by the athletes, coaches and spectators alike.
Great Britain were only been beaten by Denmark in the amount of national records set, which is a fantastic indication of the improvement across the board.
By almost every measure this team is better than all previous World Championship teams. It has the largest number of finalists, the most national records, team points accumulated and, of course, medal podium performances.
She missed out by a whisker on a medal in the 200m freestyle but if she had managed to be a fraction quicker and beat Allison Schmitt of the USA to the bronze, we would be talking about her in the same breath as the world's best multi-eventers like Libby Trickett, Stephanie Rice and Katie Hoff. OK, the medals aren't gold yet, but would you bet against her achieving those lofty heights?
It was fantastic to see Jaz Carlin produce a world-class performance in the 4x200m freestyle, and in so doing help Caitlin McClatchey, Adlington and Jackson to a European record and bronze medal in the relay.
Domestic competition is the key to driving success on the world stage and over the next few years I believe this quartet will spur each other on to having a formidable 4x200m freestyle team.
If Jackson was the star performer this week, then Gemma Spofforth produced the best performance for Britain with a championship-winning swim in the 100m backstroke in a new world record time.
Both her frame and attitude are impressive in equal measure. Her time in the USA has taught her to race tough and her disgust at not winning a medal in her new-found 200m backstroke is an indication that she is never satisfied.
The catalyst for British swimming's new-found confidence was undoubtedly Becky Adlington's two gold medals in Beijing.
By her lofty standards she was off the pace this week, and yet still won two bronze medals in the 200m relay and 400m freestyle.
She has not been helped by the suit situation at these championships, wearing a textile/polyurethane composite, but my belief is that her failure to make the podium in 'her' event - the 800m freestyle - will put fire in her belly that will rage so fiercely that the rest of the world should watch out.
At any point during the last 50 years her two medal performances would have been seen as unrivalled success, but this is a new team and nobody's expectations are higher than her own.
I got a little emotional seeing 19-year-old Fran Halsall produce a medal in the 100m freestyle. She beat some of the best in the world to finish runner-up in this blue-ribbon event.
She is raw sprint talent and is learning to hone her skills under the tutelage of coach Ben Titley. From the age of 15 she has been talking about the allure of a home Olympics and how great it would be to win a medal there.
The girls were flying the British flag single-handedly until the powerhouse that is Liam Tancock entered stage right in the final session. It took him 24.04 seconds to break the world record on the 50m backstroke, and secure some gold for the lads.
Backed up with a fourth place in the 100m backstroke, Liam is in the form of his life and is keen to concentrate on his stamina for the Olympic distance.
'Suitgate' is over for now and we'll be returning to textile suits from 1 January, 2010.
No matter what your opinion is of the 43 world records we have seen this week, one thing we can all agree on is the leadership from world governing body Fina was at best very weak.
I like to see world records, and although 43 is excessive it did make for exciting sport, which has attracted a different sort of fan. My concern is by winding back the technology clock 10 years it means the records set here are unattainable for a generation.
I'm not convinced the suit saga is over and fully expect Fina to reverse their decision at some point in the run up to the London Olympics. One thing is for sure, it won't effect the revolutionary improvement of the best swimming team Great Britain has ever seen.