An electric Ariarne Titmus dethroned Katie Ledecky to become the 200m freestyle champion Wednesday, only for the gutsy American great to bounce back and clinch the first-ever women’s Olympic 1500m freestyle title.
Australian Titmus nickname ‘The Terminator’, now has two Tokyo golds, both at Ledecky’s expense after upsetting her arch-rival to win the 400m free on Monday.
But the chances of US superstar Caeleb Dressel winning a much-touted seven gold medals in Tokyo vanished when he opted out of the 4x200m relay squad that finished fourth behind winner Great Britain.
Titmus swam the second-fastest 200 in history last month (1:53.09) to signal her intentions, ranking only behind Federica Pellegrini’s super-suited world record of 1:52.98 from 2009.
She powered through the field from third at 150m to touch in a new Olympic record time of 1min 53.50sec, with a sluggish Ledecky fifth.
Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey took silver (1:53.92), with Canada’s Penny Oleksiak third (1:54.70).
“Bloody exhausted, that was tough one,” said Titmus.
“Honestly, it’s not the time that I thought I could do this morning but it’s the Olympics and there’s a lot of other things going on. So it’s just about winning here and I’m very happy.”
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