Ariarne Titmus wins gold and claims the Olympic record in the 200m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
Ariarne Titmus of Australia won gold and set an Olympic record in Wednesday's 200m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics, completing a historic 200-400 double and cementing her place among the greats.
Titmus was the fastest qualifier into the final, clocking 1:53.50 to defeat Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong and Penny Oleksiak of Canada.
As the defending champion, US megastar Katie Ledecky finished a shocking fifth, while Australian Madison Wilson was the final finalist. It was the first time in her career that Ledecky did not win an Olympic medal.
Titmus, as expected, ended Haughey's lead in a thrilling final lap. She won by a margin of 0.42.
"I was attempting to mowing Siobhan down in the third 50 and had no idea where she was on the final lap," Titmus explained afterwards on the pool deck.
"I had Katie covered, but Siobhan was present. I felt it near the end; my legs began to ache slightly, but I was relieved to have completed it."
Titmus, 20, had already beaten Ledecky in the 400m freestyle in an instantaneously iconic swim for Australia. She has now surpassed Australian legend Ian Thorpe's feat of the 200-400 golden double in Athens 2004, as well as women's icon Shane Gould's feat in Munich 1972.
"I don't believe it will sink in until I return home and rest," Titmus explained.
"When you find yourself in this situation, you're forced to compartmentalize your thoughts. I believe that once I finish racing, I will be able to let go of everything." Now it's on to the relay (4x200m) and the 800. I don't want to ruin the rest of my meet by going overboard with my celebrations, but I'm extremely proud of what I've accomplished."
Titmus was informed that she had already received an Australian Post stamp honoring her for her 400m gold medal.
She expressed delight at the prospect of bringing some joy to the millions of Australians who are currently on lockdown.
"It's heartbreaking, but I'm glad the Olympics have arrived and that we can hopefully inject some excitement into loungerooms," she said.
"I consider myself extremely fortunate to be here and to be able to do what I love. I'm from a small town in Tasmania, and this demonstrates that if you believe you can do something, you can absolutely do it if you put in the effort."