LIVEBARN Race of the Week: O’Callaghan Rallies Past Titmus for 200 Free Win in 1:53.83

Mollie O’Callaghan turned on the jets when it mattered most in last week’s 200-meter freestyle final, rocketing past Ariarne Titmus (season-best 1:54.14) for the victory with a personal-best 1:53.83 at the 2023 Australian World Championship Trials.

O’Callaghan’s winning time dropped .18 seconds off her previous-best 1:54.01 from the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where she took silver behind Titmus. The 19-year-old now sits atop the global rankings this season, just ahead of 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh (world-junior-record 1:53.91) and Titmus (1:54.14).

O’Callaghan also ranks as the fifth-fastest performer ever in the event behind only Frederica Pellegrini (1:52.98 from 2009), Titmus (1:53.09 from 2021), Allison Schmitt (1:53.61), and Katie Ledecky (1:53.73 from 2016). She’s one of only seven women in history to have broken 1:54 along with McIntosh, Siobhan Haughey, and the aformentioned quartet.

This is your LIVEBARN Race of the Week because O’Callaghan is now the favorite on paper in the 100 free and 200 free after swimming world-leading times in both events at last week’s Australian World Championships Trials. At last year’s World Championships, she took gold and silver in the 100 free and 200 free, respectively. The last time a woman swept those events at Worlds? Never. O’Callaghan is on the brink of making history if she can keep her hot streak going next month in Fukuoka, Japan.

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Nick the biased Aussie
10 months ago

Great swim by Mollie, seems everyone will need almost a full second on her at the 150 to beat her.

Also I will now refer to Summer as “the McIntosh”.
“She’s one of only seven women in history to have broken 1:54 along with the McIntosh, Siobhan Haughey, and the aformentioned quartet.”

Personal Best
10 months ago

Brilliant race between the top 2 especially.
Mollie’s time is very impressive.

I suspected it would be close but believed Titmus might have gotten to the wall first. This was a nice surprise and augers well for Mollie’s World’s.

Yozhik
10 months ago

Nice race.
28.76 at last 50 is actually a very strong finish by Titmus. But having charging MOC in next lane made Titmus looking like she was struggling to complete the race.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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