2020 TOKYO SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES
- When: Pool swimming: Saturday, July 24 – Sunday, August 1, 2021
- Open Water swimming: Wednesday, August 4 – Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Where: Olympic Aquatics Centre / Tokyo, Japan
- Heats: 7 PM / Semifinals & Finals: 10:30 AM (Local time)
- Full aquatics schedule
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The world went wild during the women’s 400m freestyle final on day 2 when Australia’s Ariarne Titmus got to the wall ahead of defending Olympic champion Katie Ledecky of the United States. Titmus hit the wall in a mighty mark of 3:56.69 to top the podium in one of the most anticipated races of this competition. That time edged out Ledecky who touched in 3:57.36, with the former handing the latter her first Olympic loss in an individual event.
As excited as Titmus was, to say her St. Peters Western coach Dean Boxall was ecstatic was an understatement. The man’s enthusiastic jumping, dancing and passionate yelling quickly went viral, shining a light on the special relationship existing between this athlete and coach which transcends the pool.
Now that her Olympic gold has finally hit home, Titmus commented on how quickly her coach’s celebration has come to the forefront of the Olympic news.
“That’s just the way Dean is,” she explained. “He’s very passionate about what he does – he really becomes quite animated,” she told The Guardian.
“This is just as much for him as it is for me,” she said. “He has sacrificed a lot in his family life, his kids and his wife, for his job. He puts 100% into being a swimming coach. I would not be here without him.”
Boxall himself conveyed his emotion, stating, “I can’t help it. I bleed with my athletes. When they leave the pool deck with me – whether I’m having a chat with them for an hour if it has to be – but when they leave, they have to start the recovery process and go home. They switch off; I don’t. I go home and dream for them. I go home and try and find a way for them to get better.
“I just don’t turn off,” Boxall told The Guardian. “That’s probably why I let it out, why I got emotional. It’s not just a 9-5 job; it’s 24/7. I wake up at night and I’m thinking of how can Arnie get better, how can Mitch [Larkin] get better, how can Elijah [Winnington] get better.”
Specific to Titmus’ remarkable 400m free performance, Boxall said, “I’ve been with [Titmus] for five years. Having a dream together. Katie [Ledecky] was so far in front of us that in the beginning when I started to coach her I couldn’t even have this conversation. When Arnie came to me she was a 4.12 [in the 400m]. At that stage Katie went 3.56. That’s 16 seconds. We just started chipping away, we started to believe.”
Titmus is the top-seeded swimmer heading into the women’s 200m free final.