Ariarne Titmus breaks world record in 400m free

Ariarne Titmus has broken the women’s 400 metre freestyle world record at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide.

Her time of 3:56.40 beat Katie Ledecky’s old record by 0.06 seconds. 

It’s the second world record set at the Australian Championships after Zac Stubblety-Cook set a new 200 metre breaststroke record.

“I’m just really happy,” Titmus said after the race.

Titmus and Ledecky have a great rivalry, with the American coming second to Titmus in the 200m and 400m finals at the Tokyo Olympics, but Ledecky turned the tables in the 800m.

Titmus said she still believed Ledecky was the greatest female swimmer of all time.

“I can’t put myself up next to her; what she has done for female swimming has been insane — she’s been at this level for 10 years,” Titmus said.

“I hope now this is going to keep the battle going — give her some drive, hopefully we can see how much faster we can keep going,” she said.

Titmus said she wasn’t targeting the world record.

“I thought that if I went out there and did the best race I could with how I’m feeling, the world record was definitely within my reach,” she said.

“I try not to think about it. I think if you think about it your race plan comes undone.”

Titmus said she was currently the happiest she’s ever been in her life, in and out of the pool.

“I’m definitely not putting the pressure on myself that I used to, but it’s still like a healthy amount,” she said.

Ariarne Titmus also won the 400 metres freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics.(Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

“And I think that has been the trick to me swimming well — just going out there being completely fearless — swimming what I used to feel like when I was 16.

“Olympic gold was obviously my childhood dream and I feel like I now have that invincibility in swimming, and it has translated to my life outside of the pool.

“Swimming’s still my priority but I feel like I have a great balance out of the pool as well and that’s definitely helping my swimming.”

She said, at just 22, she had a lot more left to give to the sport.

“My position as an athlete, I’m just not here to create great sporting moments, but I feel I can be relatable to these younger people,” she said.

“Coming from a regional town out of Tassie, I feel like I can stamp that message that it doesn’t matter who you are and where you come from that you can achieve great things.”

Shayna Jack wins 50m freestyle 

Shayna Jack smiles and leans forward on the lane rope
Shayna Jack added 50 metres freestyle gold to her silver in the 100 metres.(Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

Shayna Jack has capped her comeback from a two-year drug ban by winning the women’s 50m freestyle final in 24.14 seconds — the fastest time in the world this year.

She was under world record pace for the first 40 metres of the race.

Jack, who finished second in the 100 metres earlier in the competition, says she feels she’s back where she belongs.

“I knew I had the support from the community and everything like that but just my personal mentality — I didn’t know if I fit in as well as I used to. But you know, I walk around pool deck, head held high.”

She says she’s now targeting an individual medal at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“Coming back we didn’t know what kind of athlete I was, and I definitely came back stronger and fitter,” she said.

She said if she won “you might see my ugly-cry face again.”

“I probably might have a bit of a moment to myself just to realise what I’ve actually achieved this week ’cause I don’t think I’ve given myself that recognition,” Jack said.

“I’ve had so many messages of support and love, but I think I have to really sit down and be proud of myself and reflect on how well I’ve actually done.”

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