Tokyo 2020, Oceania Day 2: Titmus Topples Ledecky, McKeon Picks Up Medal #2


Ariarne Titmus was the star of the show during day 3 prelims at the Tokyo 2020 Games and did something that few others can say they have done: she beat Katie Ledecky in an Olympic final. In fact, the only other women who have done so are Australia’s Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie, Bronte Campbell, and Cate Campbell who won gold in Rio in 2016 while Ledecky contributed to the USA’s silver medal swim.

Titmus’ 400 freestyle victory marks the first time anyone has defeated distance legend Ledecky individually at the Olympics given her perfect record including 2012 gold in the 800 free and her 200, 400, 800 freestyle golds at Rio 2016. Titmus stormed to victory with a 3:56.69, marking a new Commonwealth, Oceanian and Australian record.

Fellow Oceanian Erika Fairweather of New Zealand was also present in the 400 freestyle final but was a bit off her best, notching a 4:08.01 for 8th place overall. That was significantly slower than the 4:02.28 she produced in prelims to set a new national record.

Australia got another woman onto the podium during day 2 finals in Emma McKeon. In the women’s 100 butterfly, McKeon managed to get her hands on the wall in a 55.72 for bronze behind Canada’s Maggie MacNeil who was a 55.59 for gold, and China’s Zhang Yufei who hit 55.64 for silver.

The swim for McKeon was even faster than her 55.82 prelims swim which was, at the time an Australian, Oceanian, and Commonwealth record. Maggie MacNeil‘s winning time of 55.59 now stands as the Commonwealth record but McKeon’s finals time is good for an Australian and Oceanian best.

The final medal of the session for Australia came in the men’s 4×100 freestyle where a contingent of Matthew Temple, Zac Incerti, Alexander Graham, and Kyle Chalmers took bronze to the US and Italy in a 3:10.22. Temple started things off with a solid 48.07 for his country, followed by a competitive 47.55 from Incerti. Alexander Graham notched a 48.16 on the third leg and 2016 100 free champ Kyle Chalmers brought things home with a 46.44 to allow Australia to out-touch the Canadian men by just 0.60 seconds.

Quick Hits

  • Titmus, McKeon, and the Australian men brought the Australian up to 6 medals in the swimming pool which is good enough for 2nd overall to the USA.
  • Mitch Larkin got his country one step closer to another Olympic medal by placing 3rd in the men’s 100 backstroke semis with a 52.76. He will head into the finals behind only Ryan Murphy (52.24) and Kliment Kolesnikov (52.29).
  • Just like Larkin, Kaylee McKeown is seeded 3rd in the women’s 100 back final, having hit a 58.11 in semis to Regan Smith’s 57.86 and Kylie Masse’s 58.09. McKeown will still be gunning for gold though as the world record holder in the event (57.45). Further, McKeown’s semis swim wasn’t even her fastest at the meet, having hit a 57.88 during the heats.
  • Emily Seebohm will also advance to the final of the women’s 100 backstroke courtesy of her 58.59 semis swim for 6th overall.
  • Chelsea Hodges and Thomas Neill will both be 1st alternates in their respective events during day 3 finals. Hodges finished 9th in the 100 breast semi (1:06.60) while Neill was 9th in the 200 free (1:45.74).

Continental & National Records Through Day 2

  • Lewis Clareburt set a new Oceania and New Zealand record of 4:09.49 during heat 3 of the men’s 400 IM prelims.
  • Right after Clareburt’s swim Australian, Brendon Smith took the Oceanic record from Clareburt with a 4:09.27 in heat 4. That left Clareburt with the New Zealand record and gave Smith the Australian and Oceanic marks.
  • Emma McKeon swam her way to a 55.82 Australian, Oceanic, and Commonwealth record during the prelims of the event. She then lowered the Australian and Oceanian records to a 55.72 during the final which was good enough for bronze.
  • During the final race of the night, the Australian women become the first-ever nation to get under 3:30 in the 4×100 free with their world record-breaking 3:29.69.
  • Ariarne Titmus secured a new Australian, Oceanian, and Commonwealth record during the women’s 400 freestyle with her 3:56.69 for gold.
  • Kaylee McKeown hit a 57.88 Olympic record during the women’s 100 backstroke prelims which was broken by Regan Smith 1 heat earlier (57.96) who took it from Kylie Masse 1 heat earlier (58.17). The record was previously held by Emily Seebohm at a 58.23 from 2012. Regan Smith took the record back with a 57.68 during semi-finals.

Medals Table for Asia Through Day 2

Australia 6 2 1 3

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David s
1 year ago

Who writes these headlines
My brains playing tricks on me