David Wilkie was only 16 when he won his first major medal, a bronze for Scotland in the 200 metres breaststroke at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games. He went one better two years later, taking 200m breaststroke silver behind American John Hencken at the Munich Olympics and, as a result, landed a sports scholarship at the University of Miami.
Hencken's 200m breaststroke world record fell to Wilkie at the 1973 World Championships in Belgrade, as the Scotsman won in two minutes 19.28 seconds - 1.24secs inside Hencken's best. Wilkie's gold rush continued the following year as he won the 200m medley and 200m breaststroke at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch and the same two events at the European Championships in Vienna.
At the 1975 World Championships in Cali, Colombia, Wilkie retained his 200m world crown and added the 100m title.
Hencken lowered his own 100m breaststroke world record to 1:03.11 at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 to edge Wilkie into second place, but Wilkie was in a class of his own in the 200m breaststroke. He was the only non-American man to win a swimming gold in Montreal - with the USA first in the other 12 events - and did so by shattering Hencken's world record by 3.10secs in 2:15.11.