Another night, another barnstorming swim: Who can stop Ariarne Titmus?

The brilliant freestyler came within a fraction of a second of breaking the oldest world record in women’s swimming as she set the pool alight in the 200m.

14/06/2021 5:01:00 PM

Brilliant freestyler Ariarne Titmus came within a fraction of a second of breaking the oldest world record in women’s swimming as she set the pool alight in the 200m | phillutton78 SMHsport

The brilliant freestyler came within a fraction of a second of breaking the oldest world record in women’s swimming as she set the pool alight in the 200m.

Normal text sizeVery large text sizeAdvertisementWho will stand in the way of Ariarne Titmus in Tokyo? One night after stamping her authority over the 400m freestyle at the Olympic trials in Adelaide, Titmus delivered another mindblowing swim as she threatened the oldest world record in swimming in the 200m.

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The shoulder injury that had her team concerned ahead of the meet has been left in her wake, as has everyone who has tried to match motors with the former Tasmanian who swims with Dean Boxall at St Peters Western in Brisbane.Ariarne Titmus hugs Emma McKeon after the 200m freestyle.

Credit:GettyHer 400m was impressive enough. She posted a time of three minutes and 56.90 seconds, which was a massive personal best, Australian and Commonwealth record and just shy of American Katie Ledecky’s extraordinary 3:56.46 set when she demolished her rivals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. headtopics.com

Her 200m was even better. With Emma McKeon taking it out under world record pace over the first 100m, Titmus sat off her shoulder then put her to the sword in a matter of strokes on the third lap. It was a brutal turn of speed and, by the time she turned for home, she had only the red line to beat.

That line on the screen represented the swim of Italian champion Federica Pellegrini, whose 1:52.98 mark was set at the infamous supersuit World Championships in Rome in 2009. It’s the oldest world record in swimming and, after more than a decade of being untouched, it can no longer be considered safe.

Emma McKeon, left, and Ariarne Titmus leave the pool deck after the 200m freestyle final.Credit:GettyTitmus went 1:53.09, demolishing her old Australian record of 1:54.27 and blasting herself beyond anyone in the sport bar Pellegrini, the 2008 Olympic champion who will race in her fifth Games in Tokyo.

No longer is Titmus the rising star on the horizon. Barring a reply from Ledecky (career best 1:53.73) at this week’s American trials, Titmus will head to Tokyo as the 200m favourite and probably the 400m favourite as well. Her clash with Ledecky shapes as an all-time showdown. headtopics.com

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“More than anything, the 400m gave me confidence. The back end in the 400 was the biggest thing I took out of the race. But I also knew I had to take it out with Emma. I knew she’d be fast out. She has way more speed than I do, so I had to be as close to her as possible,” Titmus said.

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