Preparation for the Olympics is crucial, but by no means is it an easy task. To perform at their peak on the day of competition, athletes need to put in hours of training, before working backwards to then know just when to taper, when to dial up training and when to cut it back. Every athlete hopes that the lead up to the Games will be injury-free and see them continuing to improve but while few can make this a reality, it appears Aussie swimmer Ariarne Titmus is on the fast-track to success. At the recent Australian Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide, Titmus went on to record the second-fastest swim in history for the women’s 200m freestyle.
Clocking a jaw-dropping 1:53:09 at the event, Titmus now becomes the second-fastest swimmer in the distance, behind Italian Federica Pellegrini’s 1:52:98 in 2009. The latter, however, was set during a time where records continued to fall, with swimming’s top athletes taking to the water in the controversial super-suits that later came to be banned. Though the suits were banned, the records remain but Titmus proves that she’s edging ever closer to becoming the fastest over the distance.
It’s a huge boost of confidence for Titmus, particularly when you consider she was sidelined with a shoulder injury for some time before making her comeback at these trials. She even set the second-fastest time in history in the 400m freestyle, too. “More than anything, the 400m gave me confidence,” said Titmus after the race. She even thinks she can go faster at the Games, “I think that I’m a racer, and with the Olympics around the corner I’m sure that hopefully I can lift at an Olympic Games.”
It comes during a time where the swimming world is in turmoil following Aussie swimmer Madeline Groves pulling herself out of competition as she came out with social media posts describing fat-shaming in swimming. The allegations have now prompted Swimming Australia to set up an independent investigation to look deeper into the matter.
Even so, Australia’s swimmers remain focused on Tokyo and as far as the women go, they are looking to set records and place on the podium. Also qualifying for Tokyo is veteran Emma McKeon who came second in the 200m. As the ABC reports, Titmus is favourite to win gold medals in both events, as well as the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
Speaking about the talent of her female colleagues, McKeon said, “This extra year, I kind of saw how people were going and definitely having the young ones come through I think we’ve got a really strong team amongst all the events now.”
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