The Australian swimming team is in good hands after Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown again stunned the world with some scintillating swims on day three of the Australian Olympic trials.
A day after setting the world record in the 100m backstroke, McKeown put in the fastest time in the world since August 2019 in the 200m individual medley in a personal best 2:08.19.
Kayo is throwing open the doors to an epic amount of free live sport & shows on Kayo Freebies this June. No Credit Card. No Brainer. Register Free Now >
While clearly quick, it was still a second outside Stephanie Rice’s Australian record.
McKeown, who was visibly overwhelmed at her monumental performance last night, said that she had a long night last night, saying she didn’t get to sleep until 1.30am and was back up at 6am.
“My phone went pretty flat pretty quick. I was trying to get to sleep and I couldn’t,” she said. “The adrenaline was still pumping but to get back into the pool this morning and the final tonight was pretty amazing,” McKeown said via SMH.
“She (American Regan Smith, who previously held the record) messaged me, I said all the best for her US trials. No doubt they’ll be really fast over there.”
McKeown was the only swimmer from the race to make it with Tessa Wallace missing the qualifying time.
But it appeared to just be the appetiser as Titmus essentially broke the world record in the 200m freestyle final.
A day after falling just short of Katie Ledecky’s five-year-old 400m record, Titmus’ 200m time of 1:53.09 was the second fastest 200m freestyle time in history.
It blew the doors off Ledecky’s season best of 1:54.40.
The record is held by Italian Frederica Pellegrini after being set in 2009, but it was during the supersuit era.
Titmus was just 0.11 short of the world record.
But Grant Hackett declared that it was “the greatest 200m freestyle swim we have ever seen from a woman because Pellegrini did that in a supersuit back in 2009. That is unbelievable.”
Titmus, who was emotional after her epic 400m swim, held it together in the post-race interview.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Titmus said. “Frederica Pellegrini did that at the World Championships in 2009 with the supersuits and it’s a record that’s very old. I think no one has been close to breaking it in a long time and I knew that if I was able to swim like I wanted to race I had a 1:53 in me but last night’s race gave me confidence.”
Emma McKeon also qualified for the Olympics as well and was blown away by Titmus.
Horton’s individual dreams dashed
Mack Horton has finished fifth in the 800m, ending his hopes of an individual swim at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.
Horton’s finished third in his pet 400m event, where he won gold in Rio, but scraped into sixth in the 200m, meaning he’ll likely get a swim in the 4x200m relay, at least in the heats.
It’s been a disappointing meet for Horton but it was great for Jack McLoughlin, who qualified for the 800m race.
The race is a new one in Tokyo and McLoughlin was the only Aussie to qualify with Thomas Neill in second missing the qualifying time.
While McLoughlin was 10 seconds outside world record pace, it was a strong effort for the long distance swimmer.
Matthew Temple also won the 200m butterfly ahead of second time Olympian David Morgan, with just 0.63 between the top three swimmers as Bowen Gough was the unlucky man to miss out.