200 Free On Pan Pacs Chopping Block For Aussie Teen Ariarne Titmus

Teen freestyle phenom Ariarne Titmus of Australia is currently ranked among the best in the world across the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m distances, but the aspiring Olympian may be opting out of one or more of those events at this year’s Pan Pacific Championships.

At Australia’s Pan Pacific Championship Trials, Titmus earned titles in all but the 1500m, an event in with the Tasmanian has only raced twice. Although she still captured a qualifying mark of 16:09.87 that is currently ranked 13th in the world this season, the 17-year-old will be dropping the event for Tokyo this summer.

Speaking to The Courier Mail this week, Titmus stated, “I think you’ll lose a bit of speed (if you do both the 200m and 1500m) and I really don’t want that to happen because I’m becoming quite competitive in the 200m.”

“With Katie [Ledecky] so dominant in the 1500m, I’m going to leave that one to her and try and target the 200m, 400m and 800m,” said Titmus.

“I really feel like I‘m more suited to the two, four and the eight and I feel like the 15 is going to be a bit too long for me. To train for the 200m, you just can’t do the 1500m as well.”

Speaking of that 200m, racing her way to Commonwealth Games silver earlier this year, Titmus fired off a monster time of 1:54.85, a time that fell just .04 off of Canadian Taylor Ruck’s gold medal winning mark. With her pefromance on the Gold Coast, Titmus ranks 3rd in the world and sits just .29 off of American Katie Ledecky‘s globe-leading time.

Given her phenomenal performances at just 17 years of age, down under, fans are pining for a battle between the teen and multiple world record holder Ledecky in the 200m freestyle sprint. However, Aussie Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren says they may need to wait until 2020.

“She’s focusing a little bit more on the longer distance at the moment,” Verhaeren told The Courier Mail this week.

“That’s long-term planning. It’s definitely her (long-term) aim (to take on Ledecky).

“With a younger athlete, it’s good coming from a little bit more volume coming down leading into an Olympics. And her coach understands that very well.”

Still, of her event line-up for Pan Pacs, Verhaeren said the teen is indeed still entered in the 200m at this point in time, but says, “We’re not sure (if she will swim it).”

From her own perspective, Titmus is focusing on the 800m freestyle, an event in which she ranks 3rd in the world with her gold medal worthy performance of 8:20.02 at the Commonwealth Games.

“My 800m I probably wasn’t as happy with at the Comm Games as other races, so I’ve really been trying to focus on training for that event,” said the teen. “Everything’s going really well, so that’s exciting for Pan Pacs.

“Dean (coach Dean Boxall) and I have a few long-term goals that are going to stay the same, but short-term there are a few things I need to change to fix up a few things in my races and hopefully I can improve on them over the next year which would set me up well for Tokyo (2020).”

Ledecky is a shoe-in to qualify at the U.S. Nationals in the 200m, 400m, 800m, and 1500m free, which means Titmus will still face her American foe in Tokyo in the longer events.

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bobo gigi

Smart decision.


Is it, though? As she said, you cant peak in the 200 and the 1500 at the same time. Her 200 has progressed much more quickly than her 800 has, so why extend to the 1500, dropping the quality of her best event right now? Best to play to her strengths imo


She might know that Leah and Katie “might not” swim the mile at Pan Pacs!


Aussie focus on distance I guess? Same as Horton being reluctant to drop the 1500, despite seeming better suited to the 200, it’s seen as upholding tradition to do the distance races and the Aussie public focus on them.


Australia loses a medal in this case

bobo gigi

Sorry, I had not understood very well which event she could drop. 200 free in the headline but then I read and I understand the 1500 free. My bad. I remove my previous comment. Too bad if she doesn’t swim the 200 free at pan pacs. One of the most anticipated events of that meet. It would be smart to drop the 1500 free. She must focus on the 200 and 400 free in the future. FIrst let’s see if she can swim sub 4 minutes behind KL in a few weeks and become only the second woman in history to do it in textile.


“… I’m going to leave that one to her …” What a modest and generous young girl. Thank you Arirne. So Katie can sleep peacefully now without having nightmares about you suddenly coming from your Siberia like remote 16:09 to break her 15:20. Who was teaching you to talk like that? Some prominent teachers like Ian Thorpe? Or you was just born with such extraordinary gift? One successful meet is nice thing to have but you have, my dear, long way to go to prove that you can see Katie’s feet. You are nobody in 1500 now. You have very slim chances to medal at major international meets at 800. In 400 your time isn’t even among 25 best performances.… Read more »


Calm down jeez. I don’t think she intended it to be interpreted that way.


She is well known for her arrogant talking.


Only another Queen (King).


What are you talking about? Sure, her 1500 isnt up to scratch but your statements about her other events arent exactly true. Not in the 25 fastest of all time in the 400? Does it really matter? She’s number 2 in the world this season, in contention for a minor medal at pan pacs. Katie ledecky did a 1:55.18 in budapest and got silver, so 1:54.85 is not a prerequisite to final in the 200. Titmus is in contention for gold in the 200 this summer. The media may be hyping up titmus to be the greatest freestyler of all time, but your idea that ledecky is some unbeatable god is just as bad.


Katie Ledecky isn’t a God and it was a figure of speech that young girls should pay some respect to great achievers. Same way as Katie Ledecky did talking to Rebecca Adlington after winning gold medal in London Olympics. 800: Currently we have 6 swimmers with 8:20 and faster. Only one of them showed this time being tapered, rested etc. And that is Ariarne Titmus. This list doesn’t include Li Binjie, Boglarka Kapas and Leah Smith who’s personal bests (8:15, 8:16 and 8:17) are visibly superior of Ariarne’s one. 200: 1:54.85 is all-time #10. And only Pellegrini did it in 2009. Missy Franklin was 1:54.81 at the same age. It isn’t even Australian record that belongs to Emma McKeon. It… Read more »


All swimmers with a hint of potential get hyped up. Ian Thorpe thinks that Titmus can be a dominant force in the 200 and 400 by 2020, which is the most reasonable hype surrounding her at the moment. Titmus isn’t buying into the hype, but she does need to believe she can beat ledecky before she actually does. How else do you think ledecky could have beaten adlington in 2012? 800: I read an article on titmus modifying her lineup this summer from another outlet, and it looks like titmus will drop both the 200 and 1500 at pan pacs to focus on the 400 and 800. This is because she wasn’t as happy with her 800 as she was… Read more »

Miss M

You missed the “With Katie so dominant …” How is that arrogant?


Read Thorpe’s talks about Titmus and you will understand that I have missed nothing. She just echoes his nostalgic fellngs of getting Australian dominance in women swimming back.

bear drinks beer

Where can we read it?


I’d think that an admission that you’re not going to even bother swimming an event because your competitor is so dominant that you don’t really stand a chance would be taken as anything but arrogant, yet here we are.

I also don’t think that Titmus should be held accountable for things that Thorpe said either. Unless I’ve missed Titmus actually trash talking Ledecky?


In the words of famous philosopher, Vic Mensa: “Oh u mad, huh?”

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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