18-year-old Titmus Takes Down 2Free Aussie Record With Monster 1:54.3

Pellegrini Federica Italy


18-year-old Ariarne Titmus blasted a new Australian National Record, All Comers Record and Commonwealth Record in the women’s 200m freestyle tonight in South Australia.

While competing on night 3 of the 2019 Australian National Championships, the St. Peters Western swimmer crushed a lifetime best of 1:54.30 to beat a stacked field by well over a second and etch her name into the Australian swimming history books yet again.

The previous Australian National Record was held by Emma McKeon in the 1:54.83 she produced at this same meet 3 years ago. Canada’s Taylor Ruck held the previous Commonwealth and All Comers Record in 1:54.81 set at the Commonwealth Games.

Entering these championships, Titmus’ personal best rested at the 1:54.85 clocked at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a time that rendered the teen the silver medal in the event on the Gold Coast. At that competition Titmus claimed individual golds in the 400m and 800m freestyle events.

Later last year Titmus opted out of the 200m to tackle the 400m/800m double at the Pan Pacific Championships, where she took silver behind American Katie Ledecky in both.

In tonight’s monster 1:54.30 record-setting effort, Titmus took it out in 56.06 and brought it home in 58.24, splitting the race masterfully to check-in as the 5th fastest performer ever in the event. On the following 4 individuals have been faster than Titmus.

Top 4 performers ever in the women’s 200m freestyle:

1:52.98 Federica Pellegrini ITA 2009 World Champs 7/29/2009 Rome
1:53.61 Allison Schmitt USA 2012 Olympic Games 7/28/2012 London
1:53.73 Katie Ledecky USA 2016 Olympic Games 8/9/2016 Rio
1:54.08 Sarah Sjostrom SWE 2016 Olympic Games 8/9/2016 Rio

Runner-up to Titmus in tonight’s race was the bronze medalist in Rio, Emma McKeon, who put down a big-time 1:56.00 in her own right, while Madi Wilson put up a remarkable lifetime best of 1:56.90 for bronze to mark her first time ever under 1:57.

Titmus now takes over as the #1 swimmer in the world this season, sitting about a second ahead of Ledecky. As a side note, Titmus’ new record would have taken bronze in Rio.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 200 FREE

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Awsi Dooger
3 years ago

Titmus is a rare talent. She’s just starting to figure out how special she is. I was surprised at her startled expression when she ran down Mallory in the final 25 at short course worlds. Titmus should have recognized she was the rightful winner of that event…on raw ability. Once she got that surge of confidence just a few months ago I was certain it would propel to greater heights everywhere.

Just a darn shame Ikee is sick. I would have loved to see Ikee, Ruck and Titmus alongside Ledecky at 200. Ikee and Titmus have more of a nimble style with short range burst, while Ruck is more of a steamroller type gobbling up ground with her length. IMO,… Read more »

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
3 years ago

Ledecky is Ledecky, being an Aussie, I’m very please for Titmus, but Ledecky is the queen & if Titmus has 1/2 the career as Ledecky, I’d be happy, Ledecky’s 800 & 1500 are so far ahead of anyone in the world. Her 400 is still totally awesome as well. Her 200 free 2nd fastest textile ever.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
3 years ago

We can predict whatever we want now manipulating with historical and current data the convenient way to support our theories. And nobody can call us. But let’s be honest it is to early to make bets. Tokyo Olympic Games are still two seasons away. Look at swings of Li Bingjie. It may happen that Wang Jianjiahe will be the leading force in 400. Or 23 years Ledecky surprises us with sudden improvement as 24 years old Sjostrom did in 2017. Who knows now. To predict the competition in 2020 Olympics now in April 9, 2019 is the same as predicting weather for particular day a month ahead.

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
3 years ago

Some correction to your statistics. Lotte Friis at age of 25 has broken six years old world record of Kate Ziegler in 1500 by 4 sec. Too bad she was two seconds late with that to have it
In the books, but it is still a valid exception from your rule.

3 years ago

Taylor Ruck’s Commonwealth Record was from Pan Pacs: 1:54.4

Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

“Hello, Ariarne? Greg Meehan calling.”

3 years ago

Interesting that Titmus swam this race with more like “long distance” splits typical for sprinters like Sjostrom
26.24 – 29.02 – 29.09 – 29.12 (1:54.08)
and Titmus
27.05 – 29.01 – 29.22 – 29.02 (1:54.30)

Compare this more or less flat line with much steeper curve of Ledecky
27.0 – 28.43 – 29.12 – 29.18 (1:53.73)
or Schmitt
27.18 – 28.20 – 28.97 – 29.26 (1:53.61)

There is a strong similarity by the strategy between Sjostrom and Titmus and between Schmitt and Ledecky.

I think that the style of Schmitt-Ledecky is how 200 distance should be swum.
If Titmus stays with same approach to the strategy in this event I don’t see her… Read more »

Anonymous Swim Fan
3 years ago

Can’t wait to see what she can do at Worlds!

3 years ago

To all my dear friends on Swimswam’s comments section who will get more pleasure seeing somebody being faster than Ledecky than admiring the great sport achievement by itself.
A little bit of a history.
The 16 y.o. girl who crushed two long distance world records at her second ever international meet forfeit her rights to compete at 200 because she wasn’t ready for that yet.. Only two years later it was her first WC attempt at this distance and her coach publicly consider her underdog. She won then, not breaking 1:55.
She then established herself a reliable 1:54.8 swimmer (I guess 8 results) and was able to make with incredible effort 1:53.7 – second fastest ever time.… Read more »

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

How has swimswam not hired Yozhik yet?

Reply to  Sccoach
3 years ago

It will never happen unless Swimswam wants to attract thousands of newcomers at southern border with my broken English and attitude 😀

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

It’s not that we have more pleasure seeing someone faster than Ledecky, but we are just analyzing the current situation. Ledecky is one of the two active US swimmers whom I think deserve much more tributes than what they actually get (the other being Chase Kalisz). But we are talking about Titmus here and she is more likely to win this year’s 200FR world title than Ledecky, not because I hope so but her performance suggests so.

Reply to  bear drinks beer
3 years ago

I agree that 1:54.3 is a result of great efforts. Only Sjostrom was consistent for two seasons at this level: 1:54.34, 1:54.31, 1:54.08
Titmus is showing a steady progress that encourages the likes of optimistic KELSEY to make far going prognosis. Is she considered one of the main contenders for the win world title this summer after this 1:54.3? Of course she is. In much more degree than let say Pellegrini in 2017 who won the title. But race is always the race with all its unpredictability. Who would think that prohibitive favorites like Campbell and Sjostrom would lose to Manuel. That’s why we like sport and competition believing that everything is possible.
Regarding the absolute measure of… Read more »

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

I’m not saying Titmus will win for sure, but she has an advantage now. The major problem with Ledecky is her grueling schedule. She has NEVER been under 1:55 in 200 free final when she has to do a 200-1500 double at major international meets. She has been faster than 1:54.3 for only once. That was in Rio and she didn’t have 1500 there.
If Ledecky has the same schedule as Titmus, I will still consider her as the favorite, but we all know what the reality is. The schedule problem is also why she lost to Pellegrini two years ago. And we have to agree that Titmus is much stronger than the 2017 version of Pellegrini. If she… Read more »

3 years ago

What a great swim, thought it would be on after last nights 100 free. Ledecky, Titmus is coming for you. #ruckwho

Mr Piano
Reply to  Kelsey
3 years ago

Why do we have to bring other swimmers down to move others up?

Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

Thank you

3 years ago

That is a world record setting relay.
1:54.30 – 1:56.00 – 1:56.90 – 1:56.91 = 3:44.11
Minus 1.2 sec on safe (~0.35) relay exchange
And McKeon (1:56.00) can be 1:55.20
That all gives us 3:42.00 – a new world record.

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

I think you meant 7.42. Interesting to note that 3rd(Wilson)made her name as a backstroker and 4th(Throssell) was better known as a butterflyer. There’s also a bit of depth with 5th going a low 1.57 while Madeleine Groves who held off Katie Ledecky to give Australia an upset victory at the Pan Pacs wasn’t swimming here.

Reply to  straightblackline
3 years ago

Yeah, that is what I meant:7:44.11 and 7:42.00. Blame it on my trusted friend and mentor “autocorrect” who missed the obvious mistake done by shaking hands. 😀

Reply to  straightblackline
3 years ago

Also throw in some girls that haven’t swum at national titles (Pallister to name 1) that were apart of the 4×200 camp on the Sunshine Coast, depth is no issue for the aussie girls right now in either the 100/200 relays.

Reply to  CMSWIM
3 years ago

A few more will swim next week at the age titles. Still in Adelaide

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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