Watch The Tight Titmus Versus Pallister 800 Free Battle Unfold


Prior to the start of the Australian Short Course World Championships, Commonwealth Games champion Ariarne Titmus admitted to still figuring out the world of short course racing, saying the shorter format forces her to work more on ‘skills’ than on her ‘swimming’.  Those skills were put to the test this evening, as it was teen versus teen in the women’s 800m freestyle final in Melbourne.

Titmus entered these Short Course Championships as the top seed, holding a time of 8:17.07. But the St. Peters Western 18-year-old was challenged from the get-go by 16-year-old Alexandra Headland athlete Lani Pallister, who stayed within striking distance the entire race. The Junior Pan Pacs champion was less than half a second behind Titmus entering the final 100, where Pallister just kicked herself into another gear to blast a final 50 of 29.36 to Titmus’ 29.98.

That final surge sealed the deal for Pallister, as she wound up edging Titmus in 8:13.26 to 8:13.41 for the gold.

The Australian National Record of 8:12.32 and All Comers Record of 8:12.65 are both within reach for either Pallister or Titmus, so keep an eye on them in Hangzhou to see how much further they can each raise the bar when racing one another in this event.

As originally reported:

A mild upset occurred in the women’s 800m freestyle, as multiple Commonwealth Games gold medalist Ariarne Titmus saw Junior Pan Pacs champion Lani Pallister power her way to gold in a winning time of 8:13.26. 16-year-old Pallister wreaked havoc in Fiji, sweeping the women’s 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles.

The 16-year-old showed no fear here in Melbourne, keeping up with Titmus stroke-for-stroke until Pallister wound up passing the Tasmanian teen up right at the end. For her part, Titmus touched the wall just .25 back in 8:13.41, but both very comfortably dipped under the 8:25.85 QT.

The pair now sit as the 2nd and 3rd fastest swimmers in the world, situated only behind newly-minted World Junior Record holder Wang Jianjiahe of China.

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Isn’t 8:17.07 her pb in the LC version? Weird that’s also her seed time if the same time


Pretty sure you could enter a long course time if you didn’t have a short course time


Yeah but can’t use it as a basis of comparison in terms of whether or not she improved her PB time etc


When Mireia Belmonte set the world record in 800SCM (7:59.34, Aug 2013) her best LCM time that season was 8:21.99, Jul 2013, world championships). The 22.65 sec difference. Wang Jianjiahe has about same size difference (18.53 sec) between LCM and SCM times in this event this season. Less than 4 sec difference in Titmus’ case today may indicate that she either isn’t really good at walls or we don’t have to take the results of this race seriously. After Arearne broke the 4 min barrier this summer there was immediately a question: if it is the first step of great carrier or it is the personal best of the same kind as Ledecky’s 3:56 that we may not see broken… Read more »


But Belmonte did a 8:18 at London Olympiques.


I would assume she’s not tapered and maybe these champs and even SC worlds aren’t a priority for her. Perhaps swim swam could reach out to the Titmus camp for comment.

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