Get ready for Round 2: Australia’s Ariarne Titmus takes on Katie Ledecky again – as the American legend fires up with a stunning time in the 200m freestyle final
Australia’s new golden girl, Ariarne Titmus, is on a new collision course with American swimming great Katie Ledecky after heats of the 200m freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.
Seven hours after the Australian defeated Ledecky in a gripping 400m freestyle final, the pair returned in several series over the shorter distance.
Both drove on, with Ledecky setting the fastest time of one minute and 55.28 seconds on Monday evening.
Australian Titmus (1:55.88) was fourth fastest and rarely got into top gear, while compatriot Madi Wilson (1:55.87) was third fastest in Tuesday’s semi-final.
Titmus and Ledecky had little time to rest after their gold medal race in the 400m became an instant Olympic classic.
Ariarne Titmus (pictured, right) is on track for another showdown with American star Kate Ledecky (left) in Tokyo. The pair are pictured after the 400m final which was stunningly won by the Aussie
The Tasmanian-born 20-year-old now living in Queensland has always been rated a true gold medalist in the 200m, and this year boasts the world-leading time in the event.
Titmus set within 0.11 seconds of Federica Pellegrini’s world record during the selection tests in Australia and the Italian only cleared the semi-finals of Tokyo in 15th place.
“I will have to do a very different race and attack from the outer lane,” said Pellegrini, who admitted that the racing without crowds lacked atmosphere.
“I miss the audience and its push,” she said.
Ariarne Titmus (photo) was the fourth fastest qualifying race in the 200-meter freestyle on Tuesday evening
American star Ledecky, a five-time Olympic champion, is also in the middle of a campaign in the 1500 meters.
Shortly after her 200m swim, Ledecky’s relentless program continued with a 1500m freestyle heat – which she duly won.
The Australian 1500m pair, Maddy Gough and Kiah Melverton, reached the final in seventh and eighth place respectively – their times were 20 seconds outside Ledecky’s.
In the men’s 200m butterfly, Australian duo Matt Temple and David Morgan failed to advance to the semi-finals.
Hours earlier, Ariarne Titmus was ahead of her fiercest rival with gold in the 400m freestyle