Ariarne Titmus Returns For Queensland States; Dean Boxall Rules Out Doha Worlds

FUKUOKA 2023 TRAINING CAMP Ariarne Titmus Photo Courtesy Delly Carr Swimming Australia
BACK ON THE BIKE: Ariarne Titmus will return to competition at the 2023 Hancock Prospecting Queensland State Champion ships. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr.

Ariarne Titmus Returns For Queensland States But Coach Dean Boxall Rules Out World Aquatics Championships in Doha

Ariarne Titmus will return to competition next month at the 2023 Hancock Prospecting Queensland State Championships – 10 weeks after the World and Olympic champion’s emergency surgery to remove benign tumours from one of her ovaries.

But it can be revealed that the two-time World and Olympic gold medallist will not be in Doha in February to defend her world 400m title at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships with Australia to finalise its team following the conclusion of the Queensland Championship meet on December 15.

Titmus will have a busy five-event program at the State meet, entering the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyles when the seven-day meet kicks off at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre on December 9.

Titmus and Boxall

IN THE BOX SEAT: Dean Boxall on deck with his leader of the pack, Ariarne Titmus. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

Titmus stood tall to win the much-anticipated 400m freestyle world crown in Fukluoka this year, cementing her place as the undisputed world’s best, again conquering Katie Ledecky (USA), Erika Fairweather (NZL) and Summer McIntosh (CAN) in world record time.

Her coach at Brisbane’s St Peters Western Lutheran College, Dean Boxall has provided Swimming World with an insight into where his super charge is at as he prepares her defence of the 200 and 400m freestyles at next year’s 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“It is now 10 weeks since Arnie’s operation and I can tell you it has taken some time; we were slow in the recovery to make sure she was right,” said Boxall, describing Titmus as “one tough cookie.”

“This was a big operation, and it took a bit of time, but she is all good now, she’s so resilient…she knows what she needs to do.

“She will come back and swim at the Queensland State Championships, but I can confirm Arnie won’t swim in Doha.

“She needs to get back into work. She needs to find her groove – she knows it’s the Olympic year for her next year – she needs to lay down that platform and keep building forward – that’s where she gets her confidence.

“And that also comes off the backend of racing (but that will be in March and April) – so she’s in that platform building stage now.

“So Arnie will just roll the arms over at Queensland States – and I won’t be expecting anything. It’s a matter of getting the juices going again.

“Our group will then all go to Thailand for (our annual) training camp for three weeks from January 10…sticking to our routine.

“There will be others (in my group) who will go to Doha – I want a lot of guys to go to the World’s…but Arnie goes back home, to get ready to race again, probably in March and then at the Australian Championships on the Gold Coast in April.”

With Paris just eight months away, Boxall said Titmus was “way more mature than she was in Tokyo.”

“Arnie is a smarter version of herself…and now she’s a celebrity – she’s a big name,” said Boxall.

“But she’s a way smarter and stronger athlete – she is not naïve, she knows what she needs to do and she continues to become a better version of herself.


FITTER, FASTER, SMARTER: Ariarne Titmus with the Olympic creed for Paris. Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

“In saying that we have not seen the best version of Arnie yet…either.

“This girl sets the work ethic of our program; everyone (in the squad) knows what is expected; they are all working harder or as hard as Arnie…. that’s our ingredient.

“She is just tough…she understands (our) swimmer-coach relationship and success. She knows where she needs to go to get there and has just become smarter about it.”

And Dean ?

“I have (become smarter) as well…(although I am still a lunatic,” admitted the mad-cap coach, “while you know where the boundaries are you also get smarter and wiser.

“I’ve learnt from the best (coaches), Michael Bohl, Stefan Widmer and Scotty Volkers.” 

The Queensland State Championships

Venue: Brisbane Aquatic Centre

Dates: December 9-15



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