Swimmer Katie Ledecky takes home Olympic silver for Team USA as she loses 400m freestyle to Australian Ariarne Titmus by less than a second
- Katie Ledecky finished second in Monday’s 400m freestyle final
- She was beaten by the Australian Ariarne Titmus by less than a second seconde
- The 24-year-old from California was preferred to win the race after taking home four golds at the 2016 Rio Olympics
- Ledecky and Titmus compete again in the 200-meter freestyle
American swimming queen Katie Ledecky’s Olympic crown began to slip in Tokyo on Monday morning when she lost by less than a second to Australian Ariarne Titmus in a hard-fought 400m freestyle final.
The four-time Rio 2016 gold medalist could only take silver after losing the neck-and-neck fight to Australian rival Titmus by 67 hundredths of a second.
Ledecky was in the lead for much of the race, but Titmus slid past the American champion in the adjacent lane in the final 50 meters to hit the wall a split second ahead.
The Chinese Li Bingiie claimed bronze.
Ledecky said she gave her all, but her rival was too good for her.
“I’ve had some tough ones over the years. It was definitely a tough race and I performed,” she said.
‘I couldn’t do much better than that. [It was] a great race, have fun.
‘I can’t be too disappointed. It was my second best swim ever swim [over 400-meter freestyle]. I felt like I fought tooth and nail and that’s all you can ask for.’
Katie Ledecky took silver in the 400-meter freestyle in Tokyo on Monday
Ledecky (right) and Titmus (left) were well ahead of the pack for the first 200 meters
Titmus and Ledecky celebrate after an incredibly close race in which Titmus took first place in the last few meters
Ledecky said she gave everything but her rival was too good for her
Ledecky said the new Olympic champion Titmus outsmarted her.
“She definitely swam a really smart race. She was really under control. I felt smooth and strong. I looked up at 300 meters and she was there so I knew it was going to be a battle to the end.
“I didn’t feel like I was dying or really falling. She just had a faster final 50m or 75m and was the first to get her hand against the wall.’
The 24-year-old from California won four Rio 2016 gold medals with four victories in Rio 2016 in the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and the 200m relay. Ledecky also won silver in the 100-meter freestyle relay.
And she took gold at London 2012 in the 800m freestyle.
Titmus and Ledecky dominated the 400m freestyle from the start, with both swimmers battling for first place.
The pair were well ahead of the pack for the first 200 meters with a 1.88 second difference between third place Canadian swimmer McIntosh and second place Titmus.
The American held the lead for the first 300 meters, but Titmus kept an eye on her the entire way, literally lurking on her heels.
The young Australian came ominously closer, only 0.16 seconds behind Ledecky with 100 meters to go.
Titmus took the win from her American rival Ledecky after recording 3:56.69 minutes
Titmus and Ledecky show dazzling sportsmanship by congratulating each other after intense 400m freestyle race
Titmus then brought in her rival in a perfectly executed race plan to win by half a body length in a time of three minutes 56.69 seconds.
Ledecky tapped home in 3:57.36 and China’s Bingjie was well back in third place in 4:01.08.
Titmus and Ledecky will also go head-to-head in a much-hyped 200-meter freestyle battle, although the American prefers to win their 800-meter duel.
Team USA has won 12 medals to date – five gold, three silver and four bronze.
Gold went to sniper Will Shaner, fencer Lee Kiefer and Anastasija Zolotic in taekwondo. Meanwhile, Chase Kalisz triumphed in the men’s 400m individual medley.
Still, the United States men’s basketball team suffered a shocking 83-76 loss to France on Sunday, losing at the Olympics for the first time since 2004 and the sixth time in the tournament’s history.
Simone Biles also had a rare offday on Sunday as Team USA failed to win a qualifying round for the first time since 2010, finishing second behind Russia.
Biles was left long after a shaky performance where she was penalized on both floor and jump when her team finished at 170,526, behind their rivals at 171,629.
Still, she remains on track to win six Olympic golds after successfully qualifying in all individual and team competitions, despite falling backwards after a failed dismount on the uneven bars.