Dolphin discovery Ariarne Titmus caps dream week with 400m freestyle gold
Sixteen-year-old Ariarne Titmus came to the Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre this week to make her mark on one event - the women’s 400m freestyle.
And make her mark she did last night, taking a whopping five seconds off her previous best time in two swims to add the 400m National crown to her unexpected 800m title she won on the opening night.
The girl who came from Tasmania 18 months ago to chase her swimming dreams saw some of them come true over the best five days of her short swimming career.
In between she also finished second to Olympic bronze medallist Emma McKeon in the 200m freestyle to earn herself three individual swims and a place on Australia’s 4x200m freestyle relay at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in July.
Titmus attacked the 400m final last night like a Tassie tiger on the hunt and in a “catch me if you can” race plan developed by St Peters Western coach Dean Boxall.
These splits tell the story on the latest Australian Dolphin Swim Team discovery: 28.45; 58.56 (30.11); 1:29.50 (30.94); 2:00.68 (31.18); 2:32.01 (31.33); 3:03.34 (31.33); 3:34.57 (31.23) for her 4:04.82 (30.25).
“I guess it’s kind of expected based on the training I’ve been doing; I’ve been swimming really, really well leading into this meet and I’m really excited for the racing ahead,” Titmus said.
“I have been inspired by Katie Ledecky and it may be a bit intimidating but it is exciting for me to get the chance to go and race the greatest women’s freestyler of all time.
“If he’s (Dean Boxall) on my back all the time then that makes me get better; it means I can never relax; I know he’s going to keep pushing me.
“It’s a little bit of pressure and I have to make sure I’m always on in training but without him this week these results would not have been possible - he’s a super coach.”
Other winners tonight were:
Unstoppable “Big” Mack Horton (Melbourne Vicentre) who grabbed a rare treble, adding the 1500m freestyle in 14:51.21 to his earlier wins in the 200 and 400m freestyle – matching the last man to achieve it – Grant Hackett from 2008.
Chandler’s Rio Olympian Jack McLoughlin (14:54.95) finished second with Joshua Parrish (TSS Aquatics) third in 15:13.05.
With hardly time to catch his breath after the 1500m Horton then anchored the victorious 4x100m medley relay to gold in 49.93 with Jack Gerrard, Daniel Cave andMitchell Davenport-Wright.
A shocked Bronte Campbell (Commercial) who earned her second National title of the competition in an extremely close women’s 50m freestyle final. The Olympian touched the wall in 24.56; a fraction of a second ahead of sister, Cate Campbell (Commercial) 24.59 and 18-year-old club mate, Shayna Jack (Commercial) 24.66.
Emma McKeon (St Peters Western) who grabbed her third National title of the meet winning the 200m butterfly in a personal best time of 2:07.37 from Brianna Throssell (UWA West Coast) 2:08.03 and Laura Taylor (TSS Aquatic) 2:09.09.
Emily Seebohm who won her 21st National title, taking her second ever 200m individual medley in 2:11.89 from fellow Rio Olympians Blair Evans (UWA West Coast) 2:12.99 and Kotuku Ngawati (Melbourne Vicentre) 2:13.15.
Rockingham’s Tommy Sucipto who won the 50m breaststroke gold in 27.55 from Budapest-bound pair Daniel Cave (Melbourne Vicentre) 27.66 and Matthew Wilson(27.91).
Meanwhile one of the two new additions to the Paralympic team, Abigail Lihou (Ferny Hills) added two National titles to her repertoire this evening, winning the women’s 50m butterfly Multi-Class in 30.42, ahead of ahead of Paralympians Emily Beecroft (Traralgon) 31.14 and Madeleine Scott (Nunawading) 31.26, before returning to the pool to take the women’s 100m backstroke Multi-Class title in 1:11.05, ahead of Paralympians Ellie Cole (Unattached) 1:11.54 and Katja Dedekind(1:10.89)
In the men’s 50m butterfly Multi-Class, Mitchell Kilduff (SLC Aquadot) retained his title in 27.31 from Paralympian Timothy Disken (PLC Aquatic) 28.03, and Jack Ireland (UQ Swim Club) 28.78.
Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist from 2014, Ben Treffers, now at Somerset on the Gold Coast, under Ashley Callus led the field in a fast and furious men’s 50m backstroke, flying home to regain his National title, touching the wall first in 24.90, just ahead of Rio Olympian Mitch Larkin (Unattached) 25.10 and Joshua Beaver (Nunawading) 25.37.
In the men’s 100m backstroke Multi-Class, a 1:04.62 swim from Paralympian Timothy Hodge (The Hills) saw the 16-year-old win his second title of the event, ahead of fellow Paralympians Daniel Fox (USC Spartans) 1:04.55 and Brenden Hall (Lawnton) 1:07.34.