The Daniel Caines revival was mere theory until he returned to Birmingham, jetlagged and disorientated, from North Carolina late last week. On Saturday afternoon, the revival became tangible.
Third place in the 400 metres in the Norwich Union Grand Prix, at the NIA in Birmingham, was as impressive to him as first place was to Robert Tobin. It keeps Caines on course to reclaim his lost horizon.
A knee injury destroyed his status as Britain's finest 400-metre runner and, worse still, pushed him to the brink of the job market. But everyone deserves a second chance and Caines, aged 26, from Solihull, is determined to make the most of his.
"I am pleased with my third place," he said. "I think my winning days will return. I will keep believing. I appreciate things a hell of a lot more. The past couple of years has been terrible and I came close to giving up. I am just glad to be back running.
"But I am tired, man. I did not sleep on Wednesday night and did not arrive back in England until Thursday morning. I am still on American time. I looked into an upgrade on the flight but was quoted $4,000."
Caines led for all but the final 40 metres and his story overshadowed Tobin's victory, which came in 46.18sec. Davian Clarke, of Jamaica, finished second, in 46.29sec. "I'm disappointed at not winning, although I was running against some good athletes," Caines said.
Kelly Sotherton, the Olympic bronze medallist, who lives in Birmingham, took second place in the long jump, clearing 6.50 metres but losing to Concepcion Montaner, of Spain, on countback.
"It's just a pity that I couldn't get that couple of extra centimetres to take first place," Sotherton said, referring to the fact that she was only three centimetres shy of the personal best that won her the AAA title seven days earlier.
Sotherton's English team heptathlon colleague Julie Hollman performed superbly, producing a lifetime best of 6.47m for third place.
Jade Johnson was, however, a shadow of the jumper who won silver at the last Commonwealth Games.
The 25-year-old, just returned from a serious back injury, is struggling to regain top form in time for the Games next month.
"It's ring rust. I can do it in training - but with everything else going on, I have to get used to that again," said Johnson, seventh with a 6.26m best effort.
Johnson, still determined she can be a force to reckon with in Melbourne, said: "A bit more practice and I should be back to my best."
She refused to be drawn into a further outburst after a spat with Sotherton in Sheffield when she accused her fellow international of being disrespectful to her and other athletes.
"I've said my piece," said the Londoner, although it was noticeable that the pair kept their distance before and during the competition.
"I think the incident was blown up out of all proportion. I wasn't going to say anything, but it got out somehow."
Sotherton had less fortune in the 60-metres hurdles, where she finished last with a time of 8.29secs. Lacena Golding-Clarke, of Jamaica, won.
Kenenisa Bekele and Yelena Isinbayeva arrived in Birmingham as much to secure world records as to finish first. They were successful in the latter - Bekele won the men's two-mile race, Isinbayeva the women's pole vault - but not so in their world-record bids.
Bekele, the world's greatest track runner, was attempting to make amends for his inability to break Haile Gebrselassie's two-mile indoor mark 12 months ago. This time, it was expected Bekele would be successful.
But the 23-year-old was not helped by poor early pacemaking and failed by a minuscule 0.43seconds to better the time of 8:04.69 set by his Ethiopian mentor three years earlier.
"I knew I was in record shape coming into the race," Bekele said. "But sometimes the pace of the race doesn't go your way. The third lap slowed right down - I just couldn't get back on the pace after that.
"These things happen. Sure, it's disappointing to miss the record, but never mind."
Isinbayeva failure was just as surprising. She was attempting to clear 4.92m, which would have added a centimetre to the world record she set six days earlier in Donetsk, but she failed three times in her attempt for a 20th record.
"I'm not disappointed that I didn't get the record," Isinbayeva said, looking disappointed. "I am very tired."
Isinbayeva was late arriving in Birmingham, having missed a connection in Frankfurt en route from Moscow. "I'm just happy I won because 4.79m is still a great result."
Her victory came on count-back ahead of Anna Rogowska, who quickly regained the Polish record she lost to Monika Pyrek in Donetsk.
"It's getting more and more difficult to get every time," Isinbayeva said.
"I will just have to go bit by bit and maybe soon I will have big jumps indoors as well as outdoors."
Tirunesh Dibaba, the winner of the world 5000m and 10000m gold medals last August, also failed in her attempt to break the 3000m record, which had been lowered 24 hours earlier by Liliya Shobukhova.
The Russian ran a sensational 8:27.86 at her national championships in Moscow, and Dibaba managed only 8:41.22 after running solo for much of the race.
Jason Gardener, of Great Britain, endured just as much of a surprise, losing to Freddy Mayola, of Cuba. Mayola's time of 6.55secs was two-hundredths of a second faster than Gardener, who finished with 6.57.
Mayola's mark equalled the world-leading performance for the year which Gardener set last month in Karlsruhe, and bodes well for his world championship ambitions.
"That's the way it goes," he said. "Freddy got a blinding start. I am pleased with my run but disappointed to finish second. I have been preparing for the 100m [in the Commonwealth Games] so it's good to be running so well at 60m."