Titmus Dethrones Ledecky to Win Worlds Gold in New Aussie 400 Free Record


Australia’s Ariarne Titmus accomplished a feat no woman ever had on night 1 of the 2019 FINA World Championships as she defeated distance legend Katie Ledecky (USA) in the 400 free. Titmus stormed to a new Australian Record and Oceanian Record of 3:58.76. That was over half a second faster than her former record of 3:59.35 set last month. Titmus was out with the lead early on, but Ledecky took over after the first 100. Titmus stormed home on the final 50, however, nearly 2 seconds faster than Ledecky on that split (29.51 to 31.34) as Ledecky took 2nd in 3:59.97.

Titmus was within a half second of Ledecky’s Championship Record and is the only woman to ever beat Ledecky in a distance event at a major international competition. She’s now the 2nd fastest performer in history and the only woman other than Ledecky to have broken 3:59. Ledecky formerly held all 10 of the 10 fastest swims in history, but Titmus now owns the #8 performance.

Also of note, Hungarian Anja Kesely became the 9th fastest performer ever with a 4:01.31. She was just off the podium in 4th behind the USA’s Leah Smith (4:01.29).


1 Katie Ledecky 3:56.46
2 Ariarne Titmus 3:58.76
3 Federica Pellegrini 3:59.15
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 Anja Kesely 4:01.31
10 Li Bingjie 4:01.75


1 Katie Ledecky 3:56.46
2 Katie Ledecky 3:57.94
3 Katie Ledecky 3:58.34
4 Katie Ledecky 3:58.37
5 Katie Ledecky 3:58.44
6 Katie Ledecky 3:58.50
7 Katie Ledecky 3:58.71
8 Ariarne Titmus 3:58.76
9 Katie Ledecky 3:58.86
10 Katie Ledecky 3:58.98

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3 years ago

Staying on top is harder than getting there. I think her biggest challenge is finding the right training formula. It’s tricky to constantly experiment with new things, but doing what she’s done in the past most likely won’t sustain her or lead to improvement. She can probably do more with less, at this point. No doubt, the taste of defeat is bitter and will provide plenty of motivation.

3 years ago

Her stroke has changed a lot, it appears. Didn’t she used to kick above the water more, which I remember hearing was deliberate, to save the legs given lower air vs. water resistance. Now her legs seem to drag more. Appears lower in the water. Maybe this was a deliberate change.

Reply to  mdw232
3 years ago

agreed. I liked her old stroke (under Gemmell) more

3 years ago

People talked and talked about how Ledecky would swim faster now she has competition.

I never saw that. Competing in these longer events is very hard.

Ledecky panicked and then she quit.

ACC fan
Reply to  Jred
3 years ago

Agreed, Ledecky panicked and then quit. She breathed every stroke in the 10 yards. Unlike her.

Reply to  ACC fan
3 years ago

it easy ta be nice and smiley when ya win all the time she acted like a chump after getting the tar kicked out of her!! Man lookin forward the day King gets her butt kicked in breaststroke…the meltdown will be precious!!!

6-Beat Kick
Reply to  AuntieM
3 years ago

Cool it, Efimova.

6-Beat Kick
Reply to  Jred
3 years ago

She ran out of gas, but I completely disagree that she “quit”.

Reply to  Jred
3 years ago

Wrong. That’s not what happened.

The 400 free is all about correct pacing. Ledecky pushed the middle of the race a little too hard and went into the red zone. She was close to record pace at the 300. Then she “hit the wall” down the stretch. She didn’t quit.

Titmus went out hard but was smart to back off a little when she sensed the pace was too fast for her. Then she had a something left on the last lap.

If you watch the men’s 400 free, the last 100 is very fast because they have set the race up that way.

3 years ago

For the record and to correct this article, the 400M LC Freestyle is not a distance event. Consult the rule book if you have any doubt.

Tall N Wet
3 years ago

Incoming Ledecky apologists in comments…

Texas Tap Water
3 years ago

Can someone check on Yozhik if he’s ok?

I haven’t heard anything from him and I want to read his 10,000 words essays on how Stanford ruined Ledecky.

3 years ago

31.34 for Ledecky in last 50. A disaster.

3 years ago

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Ariarne to Katie

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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