2022 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, May 18 – Sunday, May 22, 2022
- SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Oaklands Park, South Australia
- LCM (50m)
- Meet Central
- Entry List
- Live Results
- Live Stream (Amazon Prime)
- World Championships Qualifying Criteria
After Ariarne Titmus broke Katie Ledecky‘s world record in the women’s 400 freestyle, she was asked in a post-race interview by Gianne Rooney about her anticipation for the Commonwealth Games. She responded by crediting the depth of Australia in the women’s 200 free as a reason for her excitement.
“I’m very excited and I think we’ve got a great team going in,” Titmus said. “It’s insane to have the whole final in the 200 freestyle the other night faster than the second-place [finisher] in America. It’s insane the depth we have, so I’m excited to go out there in Birmingham and have a good race.”
Titmus’s comment about the Americans was referencing how the top eight women in the women’s 200 free final at Australian trials were faster than the second-place finisher in the same event at U.S. trials. Meg Harris, who finished eighth at Australian trials with a time of 1:56.82, was faster than Claire Weinstein‘s 1:57.08 time that took second at U.S. trials. You can compare the results here:
|Top 8 Finishers, Women’s 200 free, Australian Trials||Top 8 Finishers, Women’s 200 Free, U.S. Trials|
|1. Ariarne Titmus – 1:53.31||1. Katie Ledecky – 1:55.11|
|2. Mollie O’Callaghan – 1:54.94||2. Claire Weinstein – 1:57.08|
|3. Madi Wilson – 1:55.86||3. Leah Smith – 1:57.44|
|4. Kiah Melverton – 1:55.94||4. Hali Flickinger – 1:57.53|
|5. Leah Neale – 1:56.10||5. Bella Sims – 1:57.71|
|6. Lani Pallister – 1:56.28||6. Alex Walsh – 1:57.82|
|7. Brianna Throssell – 1:56.34||7. Erin Gemmell – 1:58.12|
|8. Meg Harris – 1:56.82||8. Katie Grimes – 1:58.22|
While the comments seemed to be intended as more of a positive about her own countrymates than a slight to the Americans, the two nations have some history of jabbing at each other in interviews that have oftentimes escalated. It’s worth pointing out that Titmus also gushingly spoke of Katie Ledecky, the swimmer whose World Record she broke in the 400 free, in interviews on Sunday.
“I can’t put myself up next to her. What she has done for female swimming has been insane. She has been at this level for 10 years. To be in the conversation with her — I feel completely honored. And I hope now this will keep the battle going and give her some drive.”
In addition, although Titmus’s comments hold true to an extent, the Aussies aren’t necessarily the guaranteed favorites in the 4×200 free relay this year. First off, they will be without their fastest two swimmers, Titmus and Emma McKeon, at Worlds. They still face challenges from teams such as Canada and world record holders China, who are just about as likely to take gold as Australia is. In addition, the top four finishers at Australian Olympic trials last year in the women’s 200 free were faster than the second-place finisher at U.S. trials, and yet the Americans still beat Australia at the Olympic games. This goes to show that anything could happen on the biggest stage, regardless of who is a favorite and who isn’t.
Also in her interview, Titmus discussed how rested she was for this week’s meet, and the tremendous pressure that had been taken off her after the Olympics. She mentioned that she took a long break after Tokyo, which she felt was worth it after her performance at trials.
“The biggest thing since the Olympics was that Dean [Boxall] said to me that I now have this freedom because the pressure is off [my] back. I’ve loved swimming the past six months, and I think going to training with no pressure and being able to enjoy the sport is underrated. Coming here with no pressure except the pressure I put on myself, it’s fun to swim like that.” Titmus said. “I came back [to training] very slow in the beginning. I never thought that this meet I’d be swimming faster than at Olympic trials and the Olympic games”.
In addition, the 21-year-old also discussed her mental health inside and outside of swimming.
“It’s kind of nice now that I’m not going to be asked when I am going to break the world record,” Titmus said. “I am the happiest I have ever been outside of swimming. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life in swimming. It’s definitely showing in the pool.”
At the Olympic games, Titmus took home titles in the women’s 200 free (1:53.50) and 400 free (3:56.69). She bested both of those times at trials this week, winning the 200 free (1:53.31) and 400 free (3:56.40), while also setting a personal best in the 100 free (53.68) to take fifth.