Ariarne Titmus Breaks Aussie Record To Give Ledecky First Individual OLY Loss


What many thought wasn’t possible just happened at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, as American freestyle icon Katie Ledecky suffered her first individual event loss at a Games.

In the women’s 400m freestyle final, the multi-gold medalist and prolific world champion fell at the hands of Australian Ariarne Titmus, the 20-year-old Tasmanian who just unleashed the fastest performance of her career on the world’s biggest stage.

Titmus hit the wall in a mighty mark of 3:56.69 to top the podium in one of the most anticipated races of this competition. That time edged out Ledecky who touched in 3:57.36 while China’s Li Bingjie posted an Asian Record of 4:01.08 for bronze.

Much was speculated about the dual between Ledecky and Titmus, as the latter beat the former in this same event a the 2019 FINA World Championships. There in Gwangju, again Titmus handed Ledecky her first individual event loss at an international meet.

Titmus fired warning shots at the Australian Trials last month, producing a mark of 3:56.90. That approached Ledecky’s World Record of 3:56.46, while Ledecky didn’t dip under 4:00 at the U.S. Trials, giving the world pause that the American was vulnerable.

Here in Tokyo, Ledecky led through the first 300 meters, while Titmus kept it close on her hip, mostly sitting about half a second or so behind. With the final two laps on the horizon, Titmus turned it on big time, closing in 58.42 to Ledecky’s 59.25, including a final 50m of 28.67 for the Aussie.

Her result of 3:56.69 fell just .23 of the seemingly untouchable WR we mentioned above, the time Ledecky put up for gold 5 years ago in Rio. As such, Titmus remains the 2nd fastest performer all-time in this event.



The pair will rival each other again at these Olympics in the 200m free and 800m free, as well as in the women’s 4x200m free relay.

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2 months ago

I was supporting Titmus badly, but Ledecky is such a legend, and a fact she went 3.57-low during her 3rd Olympics is just an another example. We’ll remember this race for some time, that’s for sure.

Arnie went 0.2 faster than during trials, I hope for the same improvement and first WR on 200m free.

Reply to  Piotr
1 month ago

I supported Ledecky but this is as expected and Ledecky’s time even amazed me, she’s an icon. I really look forward to the next rivalry between these two greatest. Huge congrats to Titmus for her first Olympic gold, an opening for her dominance.

2 months ago

I wanted that WR to be downed SO badly. Hope she’ll get it in 2022

2 months ago

What a race – Ariarne pulled off a nice win, but congrats to both women on great swims.

2 months ago

This race:

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Last edited 2 months ago by Jackman
2 months ago

American here, cheering for Ledecky, but so incredibly happy for Titmus. I wanted a close race, and that was exactly what we got. Titmus is a star, and like mentioned in the article, Ledecky put up a great time herself. So thankful that we get to have these games and see this racing. Congratulations to Titmus!!

2 months ago

she smashed it like a guitar.

Texas Tap Water
2 months ago

Amazing race. One of the ages.

Titmus executed perfect race plan.

Ledecky was spinning wheel in the last 50.

Everyone (except Madden and Fairweather) swam their current best.

Last edited 2 months ago by Texas Tap Water
2 months ago

Great race, great swimmers…. Kudos to Summer MacIntosh!

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Retta Race

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