Australia’s stars of the pool have a big schedule in 2022 with both world championships and Commonwealth Games on the menu.
Triple Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Ariarne Titmus is ready to dive back into the pool as she prepares for a big schedule of events in 2022 and the threat of a new rival from Canada
Titmus, who starred at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games during her epic gold medal swims in the 200m and 400m freestyle battles with American Katie Ledecky has returned to training after the longest break in her career.
Leaving Tokyo with two gold a silver and a bronze medal, Titmus has enjoyed her time away from the pool since her return from Tokyo and knows she needs to be smart in her preparation given the heavy 2022 schedule.
The 21-year-old returned to training this week at the St Peter’s Club in Brisbane after a two-month break and told Phil Lutton at the Sydney Morning Herald she would need to take more breaks from the water in future to ensure she doesn’t get burnt out.
“I’m very young still. I hope to be able to keep swimming at this level, but I think I’m going to have to have more of those extended breaks to keep me going. Over COVID, I had a week out of the water,” Titmus said.
“This will be good for me in the long run.”
Ariarne celebrating her gold medal swim at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Getty Images)
Titmus enjoyed the break, which included her 14-day quarantine, time with family and friends, along with a steady stream of media and promotional commitments, including a visit to her hometown of Launceston.
“I needed a break, I needed for everything to sink in,” Titmus told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“But I think, in the long run, I’ll be glad I’ve had the two months out of the pool.
“I have not had a break longer than two weeks in my life since I started swimming. I’ve pretty much gone in two months from the peak of my life.
“I’ve climbed Everest and now I’m below base camp – I’m almost underground – but I want to build towards Paris, so these are the first steps.”
Titmus said the extended break was crucial, not just with Paris in mind, but also with an eye on a busy year ahead in 2022 with the world championships in Japan in May and then the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July.
Titmus won the 400m and 800m freestyle gold medals on the Gold Coast in 2018 and was a member of the gold medal-winning 4x200m freestyle relay team and also capture silver in the 200m behind Canadian Taylor Ruck.
Ariarne winning gold in the women’s 400m freestyle at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games as a 17-year-old. (AAP: Darren England)
However, one of the take aways of Tokyo was the emergence of a new Commonwealth rival with Canadian 14-year-old, Summer McIntosh, finishing fourth in the 400m freestyle in Tokyo despite her young age.
“It’s all changed. I’m no longer the hunter, I’m the hunted,” Titmus said.
“And there are some young girls coming up that are really fast.
“Summer McIntosh, she’s 10 seconds faster than I was at that age and same for Katie, she was nowhere near a 4:02 at 14.
“She’s right there. She’s chasing me and Katie now. But I’m looking forward to it. Racing is the best fun we have.”
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August 2022.
Read the full Sydney Morning Herald story here: