Australia has enjoyed another successful morning in the pool at the Tokyo Olympics claiming three medals, including gold from Ariarne Titmus in the Women’s 400m freestyle final.
Australia has added to its great start in the pool at the Tokyo Olympics by capturing another three medals at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Swimming Australia star and three-time Gold Coast 2018 gold medallist Ariarne Titmus stole the headlines after winning gold in the women’s 400m freestyle on her Olympic debut.
The Aussie flew home to break the Oceanic record with a personal best time of 3:56:69, falling just 0.23 seconds short of American Katie Ledecky’s world record of 3:56:46.
“I can’t believe it. I’m trying to contain my emotions,” Titmus told Channel 7 post-race.
“I have the 200 (freestyle final) tonight. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it.
“This past year, I don’t know whether it’s gone fast or slow, but to get here was a relief. To come here and do the job, I’m over the moon.”
The race lived up to all expectations as Titmus and reigning Olympic champion Ledecky battled it out.
The American took an early lead but was chased down by Titmus in an enthralling finish that saw the Aussie hit the front with 50m to go.
Titmus edged away from Ledecky down the home stretch to secure Australia’s second gold following the women’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay a day earlier.
“I thanked her, I wouldn’t be here without her,” Titmus said of Ledecky to Channel 7.
“She set this incredible standard, all credit to her for the swimmer she is.
“I’ve been trying to chase her – it’s really exciting now that we have this battle going. It’s really fun to race.
“I tried to stay as composed as I could. Then just tried to stick to my race plan. I can’t believe I pulled it off.”
Congratulations to the @GC2018 gold medallist Ariarne Titmus who was sensational to claim gold in the 400m Freestyle for the @AUSOlympicTeam 👏🏊♂️🥇🇦🇺💚💛#tokyotogether #swimming #Tokyo2020 #greatertogether https://t.co/Sewhp5Nh0k pic.twitter.com/dS7HCRCAMA
— Commonwealth Games Australia (@CommGamesAUS) July 26, 2021
Titmus’ gold followed another outstanding swim from eight-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Emma McKeon.
McKeon claimed her second medal of the Games after coming home in a flurry to take bronze in the women’s 100m butterfly.
The Aussie was the slowest out of the blocks and really had to work in the final 50m, sneaking into third place by 0.01 of a second over American Torri Huske.
McKeon’s final time of 55.72 seconds was a new personal best and an Australian record.
The dual-Olympian is off to a good start in her quest to become the first Australian in any sport to win seven medals in one Games.
“I’m pretty pleased. I’ll be on the Olympic podium, so you can’t really be more happy,” McKeon told Channel 7.
“I was just focusing on my race. I could see the American girl on the other side of me and I realised we were 0.01 off third and fourth.”
McKeon will now look ahead to the women’s 100m freestyle heats on Wednesday.
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Rounding out another successful day in the pool was the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay featuring Gold Coast 2018 gold medallists Zac Incerti, Alex Graham and Kyle Chalmers as well as Olympic debutant and Matt Temple.
The Australians were well behind the pack before a lightning-fast Chalmers stormed home in the final leg to secure bronze.
Australia was sitting in sixth position as Chalmers jumped into the pool, with a medal looking a bridge too far. However, the reigning 100m freestyle Olympic champion powered Australia back into calculations with a stunning split of 46.44 seconds to touch the wall in third.
Chalmers will take plenty of confidence out of that swim as he looks to defend his Olympic crown in the men’s 100m freestyle starting Tuesday.
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With thanks to 7 Olympics and Swimming Australia.