Swim ace Titmus sends Games warning


Steve Larkin / AAP News

Australian swim ace Ariarne Titmus has emerged from a bout of COVID to deliver an ominous warning to her Commonwealth Games rivals.

Titmus believes she has improved since setting a world record in the 400m freestyle at Australia’s selection trials in May.

“I am feeling really good for Comm Games,” Titmus said.

“I have improved in some areas since trials so I am looking forward to seeing how fast I can go at the Games.”

After setting a new 400m freestyle world record at the trials, Titmus was hit by COVID in early June.

“I had such a great lead-up to trials and I felt like everything fell into place,” she said.

“Things have changed since then, obviously getting COVID post-trials put a bit of a spanner in the works.

“But I think everyone has kind of gone through that so I am just trying to get myself feeling back to (my best) and I feel like that now.”

Before getting COVID, the Olympic 200m and 400m freestyle champion had already planned to skip last month’s world championships in Budapest to focus on the Commonwealth Games starting in Birmingham on July 28.

Titmus enters the Games as hot favourite in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events.

The Queenslander is the 400m and 800 freestyle Commonwealth champion after triumphs at the Gold Coast Games four years ago.

And she could become just the second woman to win those events at consecutive Games, following fellow Australian Tracey Wickham (1978, 1982).

But Titmus will face stern competition in the 400m freestyle from precocious Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh, who won silver in the event at the worlds behind American great Katie Ledecky.

McIntosh is just the fourth woman in history to record a time of under four minutes in the event.

Titmus’ 400m freestyle world record is three minutes 56.40 seconds with Ledecky (3:56.46), Federica Pellegrini (3:59.15) and McIntosh  (3:59.39) the only other women to swim sub-four minutes.



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