World Champion Ariarne Titmus (St Peters Western) has claimed her second gold medal at the 2021 Australian Swimming Championships on the Gold Coast, firing from lane four to capture the Women’s 400m Freestyle crown in 4:01.34.
After gaining confidence from her win in the 200m free on Thursday morning, Titmus executed her race plan across the course of her pet event, increasing her lead at every turn to win by nearly seven seconds. Chandler’s Leah Neale finished strong to collect silver in 4:08.26, while Noosa’s Kareena Lee – who has already secured her spot to Tokyo in the women’s 10km event – snuck home for bronze in 4:09.23.
Speaking moments after race in the mixed zone, Titmus said since recovering from her injury she’s gaining more confidence with every competitive swim.
“For me I know what a 400 should feel like and what I have to do to in terms of the race and my breathing patterns and the feeling in the water, so that’s something I had kind of forgotten a little bit,” Titmus said.
“I was a bit nervous coming into this race and whether I was going out hard enough – I had lost a bit of confidence to go out hard, especially after my injury, but I feel like I got that back today.
“Racing well gives you the biggest confidence leading into the next meet so I’m happy that I’ve ticked off what I needed to do here for those races.”
Titmus’ St Peters Western teammate, Elijah Winnington, gained that winning feeling in the following race, becoming the back-to-back Australian champion in the Men’s 400m Freestyle. In a fight to the finish line, Winnington had tough competition in the next lane from Rackley’s Thomas Neill, who eye balled him all the way to the wall. Posting 3:45.69 – under the Olympic qualifying time – Winnington touched just ahead of Neill who clocked 3:46.35. Nunawading’s Brendon Smith bagged bronze in 3:51.04, adding to the gold he nabbed in the 400m individual medley earlier in the meet.
Making a statement in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley, Mitch Larkin fired a warning shot to the swimming world, clocking 1:56.74 to win gold in the quickest time of 2021. With the lactate flowing in full force, Larkin finished body lengths ahead of Rackley’s Louis Townsend (2:02.98) and All Saints GC’s Thomas Hauck (2:03.23) who collected silver and bronze, respectively.
Speaking after the race, Larkin said he wants to drain every last morsel of energy he has each time he dives in.
“It’s one thing to look at the times but in work, at meets like this, it’s about really pushing your comfort levels as much as you can. I felt that with 35m to go. It’s about emptying the tank and we’ll look at the skills and stroke and technique over the next eight weeks,” Larkin said.
It’s a tough double (IM & 200m back). It’s very leg dominant. It’s really hard. I’ve always said, my mindset is to focus on one event and do it well, rather than to two events and do them average. In medley, my lactate is through the roof, because you are changing strokes every turn.”
With a world-class time of 2:09.78, USC Spartan Kaylee McKeown, took the crown in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley. Fellow teammate Tessa Wallace touched in 2:13.14 for silver and Hunter’s Meg Bailey in 2:13.29 for bronze.
In a phenomenal swim it was Australian Dolphin Emily Seebohm who powered down the pool to claim gold in the Women’s 200m Backstroke. Clocking a world top ten 10 time of 2:07.46, the Griffith Uni swimmer was joined on the podium by training mate Jessica Unicomb, who posted 2:13.27. Rackley’s Tahlia Thornton followed in 2:16.97 for bronze.
You couldn’t separate all 10 lanes during the first 50m of the Men’s 200m Backstroke, with every athlete going stroke for stroke and moving down the pool in synchronisation. Tristan Hollard (Southport Olympic), having already picked up the 100m backstroke crown, added to his haul on Saturday, with a personal best time of 1:56.40 in the 200m. Ty Hartwell (Chandler) took the silver spot in 1:58.73 and Bradley Woodward (Mingara) the bronze in 1:58.76.
In a stunning swim, Emma McKeon (Griffith Uni) continues to showcase her class in the pool, capturing her sixth Australian gold medal in the Women’s Open 100m Butterfly. Charging to the wall in 56.44 – just slightly shy of the time she clocked last year at NSW Champs (56.36) – the win also marked her second gold medal of the competition. UWA West Coast’s Brianna Throssell snared silver in 57.76 and USC Spartan’s Alexandria Perkins rounded out the top three to receive bronze in 59.01.
After placing second on the podium in the Men’s 200m Butterfly, Nunawading’s Matthew Temple went one better to triumph in the 100m fly. Posting a very competitive time of 51.83, Temple edged out Abbotsleigh’s Shaun Champion (52.17) and Nunawading teammate Bowen Gough (53.01).