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The three-time Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist captured her second Olympic crown to headline a historic day for Australia at the Tokyo Games.
The legend of Ariarne Titmus continues to grow on Day 5 of the Tokyo Olympics with the 20-year-old swimming star adding the women’s 200m freestyle gold medal to her growing collection of hardware.
Titmus broke the Olympic record with her time of 1 minute, 53.50 seconds to beat Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey, with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak third, with Glasgow 2014 team member Madi Wilson finishing eighth.
Nicknamed “the Terminator” or Arnie, after Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Tasmanian native again showed a maturity beyond her years to control her race and her nerve to explode in the final 50m stretch to claim gold.
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“I could see I was trying to mow Siobhan down on the third 50,” Titmus told Channel 7 after the race.
“I had no idea where she was on the last lap. I knew I had Katie covered but Siobhan was the person that was there. My legs started to go a bit but I’m happy to get it done.”
Titmus has announced herself on the world stage after two stellar finals swims in her first Olympic Games after beating defending champion and world-record holder Katie Ledecky from the United States in the 200m freestyle and the 400m freestyle final, just two days earlier.
It has continued her incredible journey in the pool over the last few years after debuting at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where Titmus actually finished second behind Canadian Taylor Ruck, with a time of 1:54.85, over a second slower than her Tokyo mark.
While Ruck failed to make the qualifying time for the Olympics at the Canadian trials, Titmus has displayed a Terminator-like focus since the Gold Coast Games on a singular goal of improvement.
The dedication and hard work has now seen her emulate Shane Gould and Ian Thorpe as the only two Australian swimmers to win the 200m and 400m freestyle double at an Olympic Games.
But the now two-time champion isn’t done, she will be back to compete in the 800m freestyle and part of Australia’s 4x200m freestyle relay team.
“I’m thinking about the relay and the 800m now and I don’t want to ruin the rest of my meet by celebrating too hard,” Titmus said.
“But I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved.”
Titmus’ win kickstarted a gold rush for the Australian team in Tokyo, with Australia’s fourth and fifth gold medals at the Games coming from the men’s and women’s fours rowing crews who both showed grit and determination to win their respective finals.
As the crews were celebrating their gold medal victories, their teammates made it four medals in as many swims as the men’s and women’s quadruple scull teams both finished in third place to add two bronze to Australia’s total.
While no longer on the Commonwealth Games sport program, Rowing has had an interesting past with the Commonwealth Games, and Australia has captured 34 medals from the seven Games where the historic sport has featured, including 16 gold medals.
AUSTRALIA’S ROWING HISTORY AT THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Rowing has had an interesting past with the Commonwealth Games, and Australia has captured 34 medals from the seven editions when the sport has been included on the sport programme at the Games.READ MORE
To end the morning’s finals in the pool, Australia added another bronze in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay final, with a team of Gold Coast 2018 gold medallists Alex Graham, Kyle Chalmers and Zac Incerti joined by Olympic debutant Thomas Neill to claim the last of podium places.
The Australian foursome found themselves in a heated battle for second and third after the Great Britain team took charge of the race.
Team GB was only 0.02 seconds off a world record time, clocking in at 6 minutes, 58.51, while Australia finished 3.26 seconds behind Great Britain, but only 0.03 seconds behind the Russian Olympic Committee in second.
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