The Australian contingency that may race at this year’s FINA World Aquatic Championships appears to be getting smaller with each passing week, with more star power opting out of the Budapest-bound competition.
However, now 400m freestyle world and Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus is following suit. This means we won’t see another potential showdown between the 21-year-old Aussie and her American rival Katie Ledecky in the 200m or 400m free in Budapest.
Titmus was the first woman to beat Ledecky in the 400m free in an international competition when the Dean Boxall-trained athlete did so at the 2019 World Championships in Budapest. She followed that up with golden swims in the 200m and 400m in Tokyo.
When the 2022 Worlds were originally slated for Fukuoka this May, Swimming Australia announced that several upper-echelon athletes would be able to bypass the elite competition in favor of the Commonwealth Games.
Of those, Yahoo is reporting that only Kaylee McKeown, Brendon Smith and Zac Stubblety-Cook are considering racing in Budapest, although Titmus has confirmed she will be racing at the Aussie World Championships Trials in May nonetheless.