2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
- Full aquatics schedule
- SwimSwam Event Previews
- Entry Lists
- Live Results
- Day 2 Finals Heat Sheet
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.