Categories: Sports

Titmus Reclaims World Record With Dominant 400m Freestyle Win


Australia’s Ariarne Titmus blew 400m freestyle rivals Katie Ledecky and Summer McIntosh out of the water and reclaimed her world record at swimming’s world championships in Japan on Sunday.

Titmus came home in 3 min, 55.38 sec to win the title and take back the record that McIntosh had wrested from her in March this year.

Ledecky finished the race second in 3:58.73 but McIntosh could only place fourth, with New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather taking third in 3:59.59.

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus reacts after winning and breaking the world record in the final of the women’s 400m freestyle swimming event during the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka on July 23, 2023. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)


Titmus said she “honestly did not think about getting the world record back”.

“I just wanted to come here and swim the way that I felt I was capable of swimming,” said the 22-year-old.

“It was obviously enough to get the record back.”

The race was one of the most hotly anticipated of the world championships on the opening night in Fukuoka.

It pitted Olympic champion Titmus against world record-holder McIntosh and defending world champion Ledecky.

It was also the first time that the three had gone head-to-head since Titmus won at the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.

(L-R) Silver medallist USA’s Katie Ledecky, gold medallist Australia’s Ariarne Titmus and bronze medallist New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather pose during the medals ceremony for women’s 400m freestyle swimming event during the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka on July 23, 2023. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP)


“I was really excited for this race coming in tonight,” Titmus said.

“Me and Katie and Summer always put up a great fight and I’m glad that we could put on a show.”

Titmus led the race from start to finish and looked comfortable in breaking McIntosh’s previous benchmark of 3:56.08.

Titmus said the win was “probably my most satisfying”.

“I feel like I didn’t have the most perfect preparation coming into this but it kind of all came together in the last couple of months,” said Titmus, who skipped last year’s world championships in Budapest to focus on the Commonwealth Games.

She had added a little spice to the build-up by questioning McIntosh’s ability to handle the pressure of the big occasion.

READ ALSO: Marchand Smashes Phelps’ Last Remaining World Record

The 16-year-old McIntosh kept pace with Ledecky for much of the race but faded in the closing stages to finish behind Fairweather.

Ledecky was aiming to add to her 19 world titles, already a record for a woman, having finished fastest in the morning heats ahead of Titmus and McIntosh.

“I can’t really complain,” the 26-year-old said. “I thought Ariarne and Summer would be fast so I just wanted to kind of stay in contact.”

She added: “You could just see the world record coming”.

“Once a couple people do something, more people start doing it,” Ledecky said.

“It’s been a very fast year of swimming and it was kind of predictable that it would be a really fast field.”

(L-R) Bronze medallist New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather, gold medallist Australia’s Ariarne Titmus and silver medallist USA’s Katie Ledecky leave after the medals ceremony for women’s 400m freestyle swimming event during the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka on July 23, 2023. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP)


Fairweather said she was “so stoked” to finish third.

“I didn’t expect to be in that position with Summer in my sights, but I have a pretty strong last 50,” she said.

“I think those three are phenomenal swimmers and I knew that there was always going to be a massive battle there.

“To fly under the radar and stay with them good and kind of took the pressure off a little bit,” she added.


Oluwatobi Aworinde

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Oluwatobi Aworinde
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