Tokyo 2020, Oceania Day 4: Titmus Continues Towards Record-Breaking Medal Haul


Ariarne Titmus and teammate Kaylee McKeown have been passing the Oceanian headlines back and forth thus far at the 2020 Olympics. As of day 4, the Australian duo represents the sole gold medalists for the country.

While McKeown collected gold in the 100 backstroke, Ariarne Titmus pulled ahead medal count-wise by taking her second gold medal of the meet of day 4 in the 200 freestyle. She now has 2 Olympic victories in the books, following her 400 freestyle win on night 2.

With the win, Titmus has become the third Australian woman in history to win more than one individual gold medal at a single Olympic Games. The only other women from the country to top the podium in more than 1 event individually at an Olympiad are Stephanie Rice who won gold in the 200 and 400 IM in 2008 and Shane Gould who won the 200 free, 400 free, and 200 IM in 1972.

Now that she’s tied Rice for second place in individual Olympic event wins at a single Games, she has a shot to surpass Rice and tie Gould if she’s able to come out on top in the women’s 800 freestyle. If Titmus won gold in 800, she would tie Gould for the single-Games gold medal record but would still trail Gould’s medal total of 5 from 1972. Along with her triple victory, Gould won silver in the 800 free and bronze in the 100 at the Munich Games.

So while she won’t be able to break Gould’s record of most medals won by an Australian woman at a single Olympics, there is still record a she could break in Tokyo. If Titmus pulls off the 800 free win and also contributes to a gold-medal swim in the 4×200 freestyle, she would become the first woman from her nation to win 4 Olympic golds (relay or individual) at a single Games.

Petria ThomasJodie Henry, and Stephanie Rice currently hold that record at 3 gold medals which they won in 2004, 2004 and 2008, respectively. Thomas and Henry were both on winning Australian 400 free and 400 medley relays in Athens in 2004. Thomas won the 100 fly and Henry the 100 free individually.

Rice took gold in the 200 and 400 IM in 2008 but added a 4×200 freestyle victory to her resume for a total of 3 golds.

Titmus would need 1 more gold medal to tie the record and 2 in order to set a new one of her own.

The 1 record that Titmus won’t be able to break at this Games but could certainly set herself up for in the future is the record for most career Olympic medals won by an Australian swimmer. That record stands today at 9 Olympic medals which Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones. Thorpe won 9 medals total across the 2000 and 2004 Games, while Jones collected her 9 career medals between 2000 and 2012. If we shifted this record to look at only career Olympic gold medals, or only at women, it would look like the following:

  • Most Career Olympic Medals Won By An Australian Swimmer: 9 – Ian Thorpe (2000, 2004), Leisel Jones (2000,2004, 2008, 2012)
  • Most Career Olympic Medals Won By A Female Australian Swimmer: 9 – Leisel Jones (2000,2004, 2008, 2012)
  • Most Career Olympic Gold Medals Won By An Australian Swimmer: 5 – Ian Thorpe (2000,2004)
  • Most Career Olympic Gold Medals Won By A Female Australian Swimmer: 4 – Dawn Fraser (1956, 1960, 1964), Libby Trickett (2004, 2008, 2012)

Should 20-year-old Titmus walk away from Tokyo 2020 with 4 Olympic gold medals, or even 3, she could certainly be well on her way to breaking all 4 of these records in the coming years.

The one woman she’ll need to look out for, however, is Emma McKeon who already has 6 Olympic medals to her name, including 2 relay golds. She still has another few chances to medal in Tokyo including the women’s 50 and 100 free, the 4×100 medley, and the 4×200 freestyle. Should she win a medal in all 4 of those events, she will break the record for most career Olympic medals by an Australian at 10.

Oceania Day 4 Quick Hits

  • Titmus’ teammate Madi Wilson joined her in the final for 8th place overall. Wilson started with a 1:55.87 during prelims and then added some time in the semi-finals with a 1:56.28 before ending with a 1:56.39 in the final.
  • Brianna Throssell swam in the women’s 200 butterfly semi-finals and hit a 2:08.41 for 6th to improve upon her 9th place prelim swim of 2:09.34. Throssell will contest the final on day 5 and will be gunning for a podium finish as she works toward her 2:06.58 PB from 2016.
  • Zac Stubblety-Cook made a move in the men’s 200 breaststroke semi-finals with a 2:07.35 for 1st overall.
  • Australia got 2 women into the top 8 of the first-ever Olympic women’s 1500 freestyle in Kiah Melverton (6th, 16:00.36) and Maddy Gough (8th, 16:05.81).
  • The Australian men closed out the session with a bronze medal swim in the 4×200 freestyle relay, hitting a 7:01.84 to join Great Britain (6:58.58) and the Russian Olympic Committee (7:01.81) in the top 3.

Continental & National Records Through Day 4

  • 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 until McKeown brought it down to a 57.47 (just 0.02 off her own world record) in the final.
  • Ariarne Titmus‘ 1:53.50 gold medal time in the women’s 200 freestyle was a new Olympic record, improving upon Allison Schmitt‘s 1:53.61 from 2012. She got within half a second of her own Australian record in the event of 1:53.09.

Medals Table for Oceania Through Day 4

Gold Silver Bronze Total
Australia 4 1 4 9

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Petria Thomas also won 3 golds at Athens – 100 fly and the same 2 4×1 relays as Henry. Not sure where you guys get your stats from?!

1 year ago

“No men have won an individual medal for Australia thus far at Tokyo 2020.” Brendon Smith won bronze in the 400IM. Also, Jodie Henry’s medals come from Athens 2004 not Beijing 2008.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Swimingggg
1 year ago

also mcloughlin in the 400 free

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 year ago

Maybe they meant individual gold.

1 year ago

Titmus can’t break Ian Thorpe’s record for most career Olympic medals because Emma McKeon is obviously going to break it first and also put it somewhere out of reach for Titmus, who isn’t versatile enough to swim as many relays.

Reply to  BairnOwl
1 year ago

And Liesel has 9 medals as well….

Reply to  BairnOwl
1 year ago

Yes, McKeon is currently at 6 medals total with 2g, 2s and 2b. She could finish this week with 10.

Reply to  boknows34
1 year ago

Technically, she could finish the week with 11 in total, though a couple of those are admittedly a bit dicey (50 free, MMR).

Reply to  BairnOwl
1 year ago

Titmus more likely to break most golds in future, but Emma very possibly going to break most overall medals this meet.