SwimmingAriarne Titmus Attacks WR En Route to No. 3 Time in History...

Ariarne Titmus Attacks WR En Route to No. 3 Time in History in 200 Free

Ariarne Titmus Attacks World Record En Route to No. 3 Time in History in 200 Freestyle at Australian Champs

Over the past few years, Ariarne Titmus has wowed the world with her freestyle excellence, double-Olympic gold secured last summer at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. All that remains is a world record for Titmus, and it nearly happened on Friday night at the Australian Championships in Adelaide.

Threatening the super-suited standard of Italian legend Federica Pellegrini, which has stood at 1:52.98 since 2009, Titmus clocked the No. 3 time in history with an effort of 1:53.31. Titmus, who has a career best of 1:53.09, was ahead of world-record pace for a good portion of the race and still within striking distance with 15 meters to go, when Pellegrini’s polyurethane-boosted pace took over.

Nonetheless, Titmus unleashed a spectacular performance, the latest in a growing collection of standout marks by the 21-year-old from St. Peters Western. Titmus was out in 26.77 and made the turn at the midway mark in 55.57. She was timed in 1:24.52 at the 150-meter mark, her heels shown to the field.

“I’ve been swimming well and listened to (Zac Stubblety-Cook) about swimming free at the moment,” Titmus told Giaan Rooney during the Amazon Prime Video telecast. “Sometimes, people think when you become an Olympic champion, you can become complacent. But for me, I think it has me swimming better…I’m swimming with freedom and enjoying the moment.”

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Titmus confirmed her plans to not attend next month’s World Championships in Budapest, having decided to place her attention on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Although Titmus’ decision will mean a delay of her next clash with American star Katie Ledecky, the Commonwealth Games will offer Titmus her next opportunity at Pellegrini’s world record.

Finishing behind Titmus was her St. Peters Western teammate Mollie O’Callaghan, with the 18-year-old clocking in at 1:54.94. It has been an impressive meet for O’Callaghan, as she earlier captured titles in the 100 freestyle and 50 backstroke. Following Titmus and O’Callaghan were Madison Wilson (1:55.86) and Kiah Melverton (1:55.94).

In the men’s 200 individual medley, Brendon Smith and Se-Bom Lee were the only athletes to crack the two-minute barrier, with Smith grabbing the gold in 1:58.59. Lee was right behind in 1:59.48. Smith’s effort bodes well for the 400 individual medley, where he is the reigning Olympic bronze medalist.

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