For these swimmers, just being present isn't enough; winning is the ultimate and only goal. Laure Manaudou, Natalie Coughlin, Katie Hoff, Alain Bernard, Pieter van den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps are all real contenders for the gold.
As for the men's relay, France, led by 100m world recorder holder Alain Bernard, has never been so close to the two giant swimming delegations, US and Australian teams.
But who has the character to go all the way?
Every nation, including France, US, Australia or the Netherlands but also less-heralded countries such as Canada, are ready to compete and bring back medals.
Everything started in 2004, after Athens, when swimmers started to improve their times. In June 2008, at the last World Cup in Melbourne, the race reached another level and now the pressure is on for every swimmer who want to go down in history.
Oussama [Mellouli], 2007 world champion in individual medley is also ready to take on his opponents. He is the only hope for a Tunisian medal. After his 18-months ban for testing positive for amphetamines, he now wants to prove to the world he is worth his world rank.