2018 Swammy Awards: Oceania Female Swimmer of the Year Ariarne Titmus

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2018 Oceania Female Swimmer of the Year: Ariarne Titmus, Australia

Ariarne Titmus just missed a medal at the 2017 World Championships, but in 2018, the 18-year old broke into her own as the next bona fied Australian superstar.

Her year started with 3 golds and a silver at the Commonwealth Games, including a new Oceania and Meet Record in the 400 free. She ran into Katie Ledecky’s wake at Pan Pacs, but took silvers in both the 400 and 800 free in new Australian and Oceania Records as well, touching in 3:59.66 and 8:17.07, respectively.

She now ranks 3rd in history in the 400 (behind only Ledecky and Federica Pellegrini) and 11th in the 800 free.

She capped off the year with 2 gold and 2 bronze medals at the 2018 World Short Course Championships, winning the 200 and 400 frees individually and breaking a World Record in the 400 in 3:53.92.

Titmus graduated from ‘high potential’ to ‘here’ in 2018. She’ll have to swim most of her career against the greatest distance swimmer in history, Katie Ledecky, but she’s on pace to decimate at least the Australian Record books.

Honorable Mentions

In no particular order:

  • Cate Campbell of Australia had another banner year. At the home Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, she won 3 gold medals (50 free, 50 fly, 400 free relay) and took silver in the 100 free (behind her sister Bronte). She later picked up 5 gold medals at the Pan Pac Championships, including a sweep in the 50 and 100 free, beating American Simone Manuel (the World and Olympic Champion) in both. She also anchored the Australian women to another World Record in the 400 free relay and recorded the two fastest splits in history in the 100 free: a 51.00 anchoring that World Record relay at the Commonwealth Games; and again with a 50.93 anchoring the mixed 400 medley relay at Pan Pacs.
  • Emma McKeon of Australia racked up a ton of medals in 2018. She won 4 golds (including the 100 fly individually) and 2 bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games; and repeated the same count at Pan Pacs (with all of the golds being relay medals). She swam the preceding leg to Campbell on that World Record setting 400 free relay at the Commonwealth Games as well.

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SUM Ting Wong
4 years ago

Ariarne then Jessica Hansen then Bronte . Improvement is the most important thing moving into 2019.

4 years ago

Should have gone to Cate Campbell

samuel huntington
4 years ago

I think I would give it to Cate – mind-blowing relay splits that made Simone look slow

Reply to  samuel huntington
4 years ago

Had she not been “rolled” by C2 in the 100 at CG, then it would most certainly have been a far closer call as I agree her string of stupendous relay splits WERE something special. Mind you, it was a stellar swim & time from C2 (52.27) that stung her.

However I can agree with Titmus getting the nod, Her sub 4min 400 was the icing on the cake but placing herself in the top 3 for the year across 200/400/800 LCM plus her SCM World titles & WR appear sufficient justification.

Wannabe Thorpe
4 years ago

Things could get dicey in Tokyo. Ledecky will have to be at the top of her game this time.

Reply to  Wannabe Thorpe
4 years ago

Do you think she wasn’t at the top of her game in Rio?

It will be good for Ledecky and the sport to have someone seriously challenge her in the 400/800/1500 at Tokyo.

Wannabe Thorpe
Reply to  Greg
4 years ago

Obviously she was, and she will need to get back to that shape to win the 400 at the rate Titmus is improving. But Ledecky hasn’t been in top form recently, and I do think it will take a 3.56 to beat Titmus in 2020. I agree that this competition is good for Katie

Jim C
Reply to  Wannabe Thorpe
4 years ago

Ledecky improved by 1.89 from Pan Pacs to the Olympics. If Titmus does the same she will swim a 3:57.77. It is likely that it will take something faster than 3:57.94 to beat Titmus. but I do not think it would have to be under 3:57. I also think you need to look at the way Ledecky has been swimming her races recently. At Pan Pacs she was under WR pace at the 300 mark. It is as if she swims the first part of the race fast enough that she can set a record if she is really on her game that da and then she can always hold on for the win. If she feels vulnerable in 2020… Read more »

Reply to  Greg
4 years ago

I agree… I prefer to see swimming rivalries .. they’re more fun to watch to see who would win .. who knows some unknown 15 yr old might win it all come 2020

Wannabe Thorpe
Reply to  Verram
4 years ago

I don’t think a 15 year old can win. Ledecky pushed the 800 so far from 8:14.

Reply to  Greg
4 years ago

I think Wannabe Thorpe was saying Ledecky didn’t need to be at the top of her game to win the 400 and 800 in Rio, which, given her margin of victory, is objectively true.

Whether it’s true that she’ll need to be in peak form to win again is up in the air. Titmus and that young Chinese swimmer (apologies, I can’t remember her name offhand) are on a good trajectory, but they’ve still got a bit to go before they’re near her best LCM times.

Reply to  sven
4 years ago

With the 200, Ledecky has always needed to be “on her game” to win at World level and this is even more the case now. With Titmus now sub 4min, 400 is now entering the same category. At 800 & 1500 (if she swims), she still has sufficient gap on the rest of the field. The next 18 months will tell us whether who (if anyone) can make any real strides at bridging these gaps.

As regards Titmus, I can’t see her stretching to the 1500 but rather sticking to a program of 200/400/800 + 4/200.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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