Home » Ariarne Titmus narrowly misses world record to send ominous warning to 400m rivals

Ariarne Titmus narrowly misses world record to send ominous warning to 400m rivals

Ariarne Titmus missed breaking her own 400m freestyle world record by just 0.06 seconds to book her place in Paris 2024 at the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials in Brisbane.

The reigning Olympic champion swam 3:55.44, comfortably the fastest time in the world this year, beating rival Summer McIntosh’s 3:59.06 from the Canadian swim trials last month.

“After this morning, I thought there was a chance [of breaking the record],” Titmus said.

“The goal isn’t to swim my best here, the goal is to book a ticket [to the Olympics], so I’m excited to see what I can do in Paris.

“I think I’ve timed my prep perfectly.”

Titmus was under world record pace by as much as three-quarters of a second at one stage, only missing out on breaking the record in the final couple of metres.

“I haven’t seen my splits but if I’m that far under, I think that gives me confidence that I took it out and I was quite fearless,” Titmus said.

Ariarne Titmus set up her swim in the heats with three solid laps before switching off.

“At the end of the day, the trials are a bit of a free shot for me, I don’t have to worry about getting under a qualifying time, so if I stuff up, I don’t have to worry about being on the team.

“So it’s about trying new things and to win, you always have to try new things. You can’t just expect to do the same thing and keep winning.”

She will be joined in the Paris Games by Lani Pallister, who made her first Olympic team.

Pallister was very emotional after seeing her time, rushing over to hug her mother, Janelle Elford, who swam at the 1988 Games in Seoul.

“I can’t really put it into words,” Pallister said.

“When I finally saw my mum, I cried a bit, when Ellie [Cole] told me I was going to become an Olympian, I cried.

“Going from three years ago when I quit swimming to now where I get to go to my first Olympics is just incredible.

“It’s something I’ve dreamt about every day for the last three years.”

McKeown smashes Commonwealth Record

Kaylee McKeown breaches the water swimming backstroke

Kaylee McKeown qualified second-fastest for her 200m IM final.(Getty Images: Chris Hyde)

Fellow Olympic gold medallist from Tokyo Kaylee McKeown also booked her place with a scintillating swim in the 200m medley.

McKeown set a new Commonwealth Record of 2:06.63 to book her spot.

The multiple world champion is set to be one of the busiest swimmers at these trials, competing on five of the six days of competition.

The 22-year-old, who holds the world record in every backstroke event from 50m to 200m, will be joined by 19-year-old Ella Ramsay, who also beat the qualifying time to book her spot.

Kaylee McKeown waits at the end of her lane

Kaylee McKeown is competing in five events at this week’s trials.(Supplied: Delly Carr)

In the 100m breaststroke, Sam Williamson set two personal bests to qualify fastest and book his spot at the Games.

Williamson had laid down a marker in the heats, swimming the third-fastest time by an Australian in history, and fastest since 2013 with a 58.95.

Williamson, who is the reigning world champion in the 50m breaststroke, then bettered that mark with a stunning 58.80 — the seventh-fastest time of the year.

“Sneaking under the minute as a breaststroker is a pretty awesome achievement,” Williamson said after his impressive heat swim.

Sam Williamson smiles after his swim and holds up his thumb

Samuel Williamson swam the ninth-fastest 100m breaststroke of the year in the heats.(AAP Image: Dave Hunt)

“Then, you sneak under that 59, there’s not a lot of guys around the world that have done that so, to sort of be up in that calibre is pretty impressive.

“I’m just happy with all the work I’ve done and hopefully, it puts me in a good spot moving forward.”

Only 26 men have, in fact, recorded a time faster than Williamson’s heat swim.

Josh Yong finished second, also swimming under the qualifying time to make his first Olympic team.

Australia’s most decorated Olympic swimmer Emma McKeon also started a busy week with success in the 100m butterfly.

Emma McKeon swims butterfly (2)

Emma McKeon is swimming the 100m fly, 100m and 50m free in Brisbane.(Getty Images: Chris Hyde)

After qualifying fastest, the 2020 Olympic bronze medallist led the field to win in 56.85, a fraction slower than her heat swim but fast enough to touch out Alex Perkins, who just missed the qualifying time.

McKeon, who won seven medals in Tokyo to be crowned the most successful of any athlete at the Games, will contest the 50m and 100m freestyle — both events in which she won gold in Tokyo — later in the week.


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