Aussie Teen Ariarne Titmus Looking Ledecky-esque With 4:02 400 Free


17-year-old Ariarne Titmus smashed a new Australian national record en route to gold in the women’s 400m freestyle at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre tonight. The teen cruised to a solid morning outing of 4:12.56 to take the 2nd seed at these Queensland Championships behind Olympian Jess Ashwood, only to hack off almost 10 seconds to register a winning effort of 4:02.86 this evening. That time checks-in not only as Titmus’ personal best, but the mark also overtakes Ashwood’s previous NR of 4:03.34 from 2015.

Titmus already turned heads this year by making her first senior international team at just 16. She scored new age records in both the 800m freestyle and 400m freestyle this past April to race her way onto the green and gold’s squad for Budapest, where she finished 4th overall in the 400m in a time of 4:04.26.

Tonight, the teen from Tasmania split 57.90/1:01.53/1:01.91/1:01.52 to outdo Ashwood’s old record and take the Queensland title by well over 6 seconds. Her time would have bumped her up to bronze place in Budapest, finishing only behind American legend Katie Ledecky and her Olympic teammate Leah Smith.

World rankings-wise, Titmus now sits as the #2 swimmer in the world, with her 4:02.86 stunner sitting only behind China’s Li Bingjie.

2017-2018 LCM WOMEN 400 FREE

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Just as a point of reference, Ledecky’s fastest outing at the age of 17 was the 3:58.37 she produced at the 2014 Pan Pac Championships. That time still stands as the World Junior Record in the event. Even sitting 4 second away from that standard, Titmus’ time of 4:02.86 is positioned as what would have been Ledecky’s 5th fastest effort at the same age in a range for the American that spanned the aforementioned 3:58 to 4:08.49.

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Honest observer
3 years ago

Good article, and that’s a fantastic time, especially when Titmus is not fully peaked, for an exciting up-and-coming talent. But using the term “Ledecky-esque,” at least this point, is overstating it.

Reply to  Honest observer
3 years ago

I see your point, but ‘esque’ merely means in the style of, it doesn’t relate to an actual standard of performance. I see similarities that would lead one to make such a comment about Titmus – Big improvements pretty suddenly, likes to take it out hard etc

Reply to  Dee
3 years ago

I disagree. She had a great swim but its not Ledecky-esque…Ledecky was already at 358 at her age. Plus the “huge” time drop is a little overstated…yes, she dropped 10 seconds in the finals, but overall it was about a 2 second drop from her best time. The title was trying to get ppl to click on the article…which theres nothing wrong with

Reply to  Ervin
3 years ago

Dee explained perfectly that ‘esque’ merely means in the style of, it doesn’t relate to an actual standard of performance.

Reply to  nuotofan
3 years ago

its not “esque” either!

Reply to  Ervin
3 years ago

I meant more generally in regards to her improvents over that past year, rather than taking a swim in isolation (which imo is never a good idea). You can’t really compare a tapered PB at Worlds with her first real 400fr of a season at a state meet, you have to apply some context here.

She burst out of the woodwork last year with some pretty great time drops after moving her life from Tasmania (notoriously bad swimming facilities & opportunities) to Queensland for better training opportunities. To go a sizeable 4.02 PB (after taking 1.5s off her 200 PB) in her first real hit out of the season is mightily impressive and one would have to expect to see… Read more »

3 years ago

Cate Campbell’s 52.69 is pretty sharp, the men’s 100 free was a little slow by comparison, however Magnussen’s morning swim of 48.90 was pleasantly surprising.

Reply to  Jackman
3 years ago

Hopefully the boys are in heavy training, still positive we’ll see an Aus 1-2-3 at Gold Coast!!

Reply to  AdamLB
3 years ago

Possible but think Duncan Scott may have something to say about that !

Reply to  AdamLB
3 years ago

That won’t be easy this time – Glasgow was bloody poor in that regard

Reply to  Jackman
3 years ago

Not particularly surprising re C1; she is tradtionally fast “in season” and a sub 53 was very likely given her 53.10 heat swim. Solid start to LCM season at 53.81 from Jack.

Mare Nostrum were Magnussen’s “tapered” meets for the year with 48.7 being his best. Would be surprised if he gets more than 0.25 – 0.3 below that at any point. McEvoy has often been quick at this meet but maybe a different approach is being taken.

Reply to  commonwombat
3 years ago

Feel like mcevoy hasn’t been the same since pre rio olympics

3 years ago

I don’t know if deserves the title “Ledecky-esque”, but I am really impressed by Titmus’ progression.
Titmus’ PB in the 400 free before the Aussie Champs (April 2017) was 4.09.81. in the final Titmus swam a 4.04.82.
At Worlds (end of July) Titmus swam 4.04.26 (fourth in the final) and now (early December) 4.02.86.
Who had such a progression, as a teen-ager, in a few months?
Who was (and is) capable of hammering great in-season times (also 1.56.34 in 200 free from Titmus)?
Perhaps Swimswam’s staff didn’t exaggerate so much..

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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