Titmus Becomes 3rd Ever Sub-4:00 With Commonwealth Record In 400 Free


Australian Ariarne Titmus became the third woman ever to break four minutes in the 400 freestyle at day 3 finals of the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, taking out the Commonwealth, Oceanian and Australian National Records in a time of 3:59.66.

Swimming head-to-head with world record holder Katie Ledecky, Titmus pushed the pace early, and after Ledecky opened up a lead of 1.3 seconds at the halfway mark, the 17-year-old held even with the American for the rest of the race.

Ledecky was under world record pace through the 250, but just fell off at the end to win in 3:58.50, her 6th fastest swim ever and just off her 2014 meet record of 3:58.37. Titmus actually out-split Ledecky on the back-half, and came in for the silver in 3:59.66 which breaks Joanne Jackson of Great Britain’s Commonwealth Record of 4:00.60 from 2009, along with her own Oceanian and Australian marks of 4:00.93 from the Commonwealth Games.

In terms of the splits, Ledecky was 1:57.01/2:01.49 for the opening and closing 200s, while Titmus was 1:58.31/2:01.35.

Titmus joins Ledecky and former world record holder Federica Pellegrini of Italy as the only women ever under 4:00, moving Past Jackson, Leah Smith and Rebecca Adlington to become the 3rd-fastest performer in history. She’s also now the 2nd-fastest performer ever in a textile suit.

Fastest Performers Ever
1 Katie Ledecky 3:56.46
2 Federica Pellegrini 3:59.15
3 Ariarne Titmus 3:59.66
4 Joanne Jackson 4:00.60
5 Leah Smith 4:00.65
6 Rebecca Adlington 4:00.79
7 Camille Muffat 4:01.13
8 Jazz Carlin 4:01.23
9 Li Bingjie 4:01.75
10 Allison Schmitt 4:01.77

This is the first individual Commonwealth Record of Titmus’ career, as she was a few seconds off of Adlington’s 800 free mark (8:14.10) earlier in the meet when she broke her the Oceanian and Australian Record. We’ve also seen Commonwealth Records at the meet from Cate Campbell (100 free), Taylor Ruck (200 free), and the Aussie women’s 4×200 free relay which Titmus was a key member of.

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Love to Swim

“Titmus actually out-split Ledecky on the back-half, ..”

Is this right? I find this unbelievable. What are the splits?


The situation is actually more complicated than pictured.
Ledecky vs Titmus
-0.04; +0.37; +0.31; +0.66; +0.17; -0.12; +0.01; -0.20
The right way to describe it that the second half was even with Titmus outperform Ledecky slightly at last fifty. That could be excusable for the leader in tough race who has more than a body length advantage. The challenger on the other hand pushes herself to the limit at the very finish. I think that this race was well executed and controlled by Ledecky. But it was definitely not the race of “seeing Ledecky’s feet”. This is the beginning of competition between two great swimmers.


Can’t deny that she’s slowly getting there…


Impressive for sure.


Not so slowly..


I know it’s a great swim, but the headline ought to List somewhere she was second.


^^^RIGHT? The headline should also list:

1) Her age
2) Her actual time
3) Her splits
4) Her previous best time
5) Her post-race thoughts
6) Her coach’s name
7) Her country (duh)
8) What the time of the winner was
9) That she’s never going to be good as Katie Ledecky
10) Just the words “Katie Ledecky” written 10x over.

It’s too damn laborious to read whole articles. Just put it all in the headline ‘somewhere’ and it saves us all a click and a couple of scrolls.

We’ve toyed with the idea of expanding our headlines to 800 words apiece. It’s the future of true journalism, I’d say.


Don’t see why as it’s not about her performance in relation to the competition, but about where her time fits in to the history books.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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