After Her 1:53.09 In The 200m Freestyle, Ariarne Titmus Sends A Warning To The World: “I can swim faster!”

emma mckeon, ariarne titmus
SO CLOSE: Ariarne Titmus congratulated by Emma McKeon after the 200m freestyle in Adelaide.Photo Courtesy Delly Carr (Swimming Australia)

Ariarne Titmus has missed the longest standing women’s swimming world record by a whisker with a powerhouse 200m freestyle win, clocking a stunning time of 1:53.09 at the Australian Olympic Trials in Adelaide tonight before suggesting she can go faster in Tokyo.



WINNING SMILE: Ariarne Titmus congratulated by Emma McKeon after the second faster 200m freestyle in history. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

The 20-year-old produced her second freestyle master class in 24 hours – sending a message to the rest of the world after missing Federica Pellegrini 2009 “Supersuit” world mark by just 0.11 seconds.

The night before, Titmus shook the life out of Katie Ledecky’s 400m freestyle world mark – missing the US superstar’s 2016 record by less than half-a-second.

There were two stages in the middle of the third and fourth laps in her 200m tonight where Titmus appeared to produce six to eight power strokes to swim passed pacesetter Emma McKeon –who set a cracking pace.

It was a show of strength never seen before in Australian swimming – wiping every record in the books – bar one.

And she will be up against Pellegrini who at 32, will swim in a remarkable fifth Olympic Games in Tokyo, with Titmus suggesting she can swim faster.

“I’d like to think so…. I’m a racer,” she said when asked whether she could swim faster in Tokyo.

“With the Olympics around the corner, I’d hope that I can lift…. it’s the Olympic Games.”

Titmus also revealed that racing the 400m and improving and trusting herself in the backend of that race helped her tonight – with the game plan to stick as close to McKeon, as she could as she knew she would take it out fast.

“I just had to trust my backend – that’s my strength,” said Titmus.

“I felt the past couple of years it might have gone missing a little bit, and trying to figure out how to swim the 200.

“I feel like I’ve been struck in the same spot for a couple of years…so it’s good to finally have that breakthrough in the event…”

And Titmus gave herself every chance of attacking the world record from the outset – almost half-second under world record pace at the 50m turn – with McKeon over a full second ahead of Pellegrini’s split.

At the 100m turn Titmus was still marginally ahead, before dropping off on the third lap and picking up the pace down the final lap – coming home faster than Pellegrini -28.45 to 28.60.

Here are the comparative splits:

  • Federica Pellegrini (2009) WR SPLITS:
    • 27.34, 55.60 (28.26), 1:24.38 (28.78), 1:52.98 (28.60)
  • Ariarne Titmus (2021) SPLITS:
    • 26.81, 55:55 (28.74), 1:24.64 (29.09), 1:53.09 (28.45)

Comparative 50m splits

  • Pellegrini – 27.34; 28.26; 28.78; 26.60
  • Titmus – 26.81; 28.74; 29.09; 28.45

WHO SAID THREE’S A CROWD: With St Peters Western serving up three of its very best – Ariarne Titmus (left), Meg Harris (centre) and Mollie O’Callaghan for Australia’s Olympic 4x200m freestyle relay. Photo Courtesy:Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

There is unprecedented depth in the 200m field with the top six girls -including  Titmus’ St Peters Western teammates Meg Harris and Mollie O’Callaghan dead-heating for sixth – all under the Olympic qualifying time.

The selectors are sure to include them both on the team – perfect back-ups for Titmus and McKeon – who will have the busiest programs in the multi-talented Australian women’s team.

“It’s an unbvelievable relay…they will definitely take the six; Emma and I will both have massive programs and for me it’s really  exciting to have two young girls who train with me on the team – a year ago they were a bit far off but that extra year of training has really helped them and they have really pushed me in training as well,”said Titmus.

Women’s 200m freestyle Final

1 Ariarne Titmus 1:53.09 Q

2 Emma McKeon 1:54.74 Q

3 Madi Wilson 1:55.68 Q

4 Leah Neale 1:56.08 Q

5 Meg Harris 1:56.29 Q

5 Mollie O’Callaghan 1:56.29 Q

7 Kiah Melverton 1:57.25

8 Brianna Throssell 1:57.66