Emily Seebohm's coach admits the "stars have to align" for the veteran Australian swimmer to win an unprecedented third consecutive 200m backstroke world title this year.
But David Lush believes the Dolphins star is on track for an Olympic breakthrough in Tokyo 2020.
Seebohm snared Australia's sole gold medal at the last world titles back in 2017 in Budapest, Hungary, defending her 200m crown.
Lush said Seebohm would make history as the first woman to win three straight 200m backstroke golds at July's world titles at Gwangju, South Korea.
However, he hinted the 26-year-old Seebohm's priority was to get her body right to secure an elusive individual Olympic gold in Japan, in what would be her fourth Games.
"When you are a more mature athlete, the stars have to align a bit (to win) in terms of your mental state, your physical preparation, and you are a little bit more prone to injury," Lush told AAP.
"This would be her fourth world championship. It's not a critical competition.
"But I have every confidence that we can get it right in 500 days for the Olympics."
Not that Lush expected Seebohm to put up the white flag in South Korea.
He said his charge had emerged stronger from a testing 12 months which featured her high-profile split from fellow Dolphins champion Mitch Larkin.
"She is a good person and when things go wrong in her life she gets upset, that's natural, it takes time for her to rebuild," Lush said.
Lush believed Seebohm now had the right life balance to finally complete her Olympic collection, which includes five medals but only one individual prize - a 100m backstroke silver in 2012.
Seebohm blamed a social media fixation for her 2012 silver and was again left in tears at Rio 2016 when she finished second-last in the 100m backstroke final and failed to make the 200m medal race.
"When we are talking about winning an Olympic medal or not even making the final that is 0.1 of a second," Lush said.
"It's not just about being technically superior or being the toughest in the pool.
"It's that person who is also investing in other parts of their life so they are balanced, so it doesn't all hinge on that moment of time.
"Now she personifies the complete athlete."
Australian Associated Press