SwimmingAriarne Titmus Pops Stellar Time in 400 Freestyle at NSW Open Champs

Ariarne Titmus Pops Stellar Time in 400 Freestyle at NSW Open Champs

Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus produced an eye-catching marker on Saturday, the 21-year-old nearly logging a sub-4:00 effort in the 400-meter freestyle at the New South Wales Open Championships in Sydney. Titmus, who was crowned titlist in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, checked in with a time of 4:00.03, good for a victory over Kiah Melverton (4:03.43).

Titmus was in command from the beep, going out in 57.73 for the opening 100 meters and touching at the midway point in 1:58.90. The only question down the last half of the race was whether Titmus would dip under four minutes, a threshold she just missed. Still, it was a stellar performance on a night when several athletes around the world turned in elite swims, including Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh going sub-4:30 in the 400 individual medley.

It was last summer in which Titmus, already the world champion in the event, engaged in a spectacular duel with American legend Katie Ledecky in the 400 freestyle in Tokyo. With the women battling through the first 300 meters, Titmus had too much in the closing laps and etched herself as an Olympic champ. This latest effort signals well for what the Aussie has in store for this summer.

One of Australia’s other Olympic champs from Tokyo followd Titmus’ blueprint when she delivered a superb showing in the 100 backstroke. Kaylee McKeown posted a time of 58.35 to easily finish ahead of rising teenage star Mollie O’Callaghan, who dipped under the minute barrier with a swim of 59.97. Meanwhile, longtime Dolphin force Mitch Larkin was the winner of the 200 backstroke in 1:57.42.

Coming off a 53-low outing in the 100 freestyle that noted big intentions for the summer campaign, Shayna Jack added 50 freestyle accolades when she won the event in 24.53, Madison Wilson following in 24.84. Jack is returning to the national scene after serving a doping ban that kept her from chasing Olympic aspirations in Tokyo.

Elijah Winnington notched a double, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:47.19 and the 800 freestyle in 7:57.86.Other winners included:

50 Butterfly: Matthew Temple (23.75)
100 Butterfly: Brianna Throssel (57.49)
100 Breaststroke: Zac Stubblety-Cook (1:00.02)
200 Breaststroke: Jenna Strauch (2:25.95)
200 Medley: William Petric (2:00.77)

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