Titmus Downs Ledecky in First Showdown,’Re-Peaty’ Gold for Britain


Tokyo-Australia’s Ariarne Tittoms defeated five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky in the United States to win the gold medal in the thrilling women’s 400m freestyle final on Monday.

Adam Peaty of England repeated the success of the gold medal from Rio in the 100m breaststroke, and Maggie McNeil of Canada won the 100m butterfly of a nearby woman.

Ledecky was the dominant force in women’s swimming, but it was the Australians who won the first of three face-to-face competitions with Titmus in these games in a well-timed swim.

Team Australia's Arian Titoms and Team United States' Katie Ledecky
After competing in the women’s 400m freestyle final on the third day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics held at the Tokyo Aquatics Center in Tokyo on July 26, 2021, Team Australia’s Arian Titoms and Team America’s Katie Ledeck React. (MaddieMeyer / Getty Images)

The Americans were 0.66 seconds ahead on the way, but Titmuss narrowed the gap to 0.16 seconds on a 300m turn, taking the lead with a 350m mark and never looking back.

“I can’t believe it, I’m trying to contain my emotions,” said Titmuss, who praised his rivals for raising the bar of sport.

“I thanked her, I wouldn’t have been here without her. She set this incredible standard. All her achievements that she is a swimmer.

“In the race, I tried to stay as calm as I could, but I can’t believe I stopped doing that,” she added.

There were far fewer Petty dramas that were completely dominant in the 100-meter breaststroke, with 57.37 hours well below his own world record of 56.88, but more comfortable than Dutch silver medalist Arno Kaminha. (0.63).

“I felt a little pressure in the finals, but that’s good pressure,” Petty said.

“I had to put myself on the edge. I had to go my fastest.

“You can do whatever you want in your own pool, in your own country, in your own race. I haven’t raced for a while, I’m racing myself Mmm … it’s not time for the race, “he said.

In the Women’s 100 Butterfly, China’s Zhang Yufei led in the middle and McNeil dragged in 7th place, but the Canadians took power from their rivals and created a great turn to pip Chan in 5/100 seconds. ..

Emma McKeon of Australia wasn’t too late. The bronze medal was only 0.13 behind the victory time.

“It was unbelievable. I think I did something good because I touched the wall and heard my name,” said the Canadian who won the 2019 World Badomin Championship.

“I have no words right now. I don’t think it will sink for a while,” he said. McNeil, who also won the silver medal on Sunday as part of Canada’s 4x100m freestyle team, added.

Rio gold medalist and world record holder Sarah Sjostr√∂m finished seventh, 1:32 off McNeil’s time.

The Swedes participated in the fourth Olympics, underwent surgery for an elbow fracture in February, fell on ice and left the water for several months.

“I did everything I could physically do, but I couldn’t do anything more … I needed to be icy,” she said.

Simon Evans