Australian superstar Ariarne Titmus won gold and claimed an Olympic record in the 200m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, giving her a historic 200-400 double and a place among the greats.
The fastest qualifier into the final, Titmus clocked 1:53.50 to beat Hong Kong's Siobhan Haughey and Canada's Penny Oleksiak.
US megastar Katie Ledecky fell to a shock fifth-placed finish, while Aussie Madison Wilson was last of the finalists. It was the first time that Ledecky had not medalled in an Olympic event.
True to form, Titmus terminated Haughey's lead in a thrilling final lap. She won by 0.42.
"I was trying to mow Siobhan down in the third 50 and I had no idea where she was on the last lap," Titmus said on pool deck afterwards.
"I had Katie covered but Siobhan was the person that was there. I felt it at the end, my legs started to go a little bit but I was happy to get it done."
Titmus, 20, had already won the 400m freestyle over Ledecky in an instantly iconic swim for Australia. She has now emulated Aussie legend Ian Thorpe at Athens 2004 with the 200-400 golden double, plus women's icon Shane Gould at Munich 1972.
"I don't think it will settle in until I get home and have a rest," Titmus said.
"When you're in this situation, you kind of have to compartmentalise everything. I think once I stop racing, I'll kind of release everything.
"On to the (4x200m) relay now and the 800. I don't want to ruin the rest of my meet by celebrating too hard but I'm very proud of what I've achieved."
Titmus was told that she had already been honoured back home with an Australian Post stamp, showing her with her 400m gold medal.
She said that she was happy to provide some joy for the millions of people under lockdown in Australia.
"It's really sad but I'm happy that the Olympics are here and we can hopefully bring some excitement to loungerooms," she said.
"I feel so fortunate to be here, to be able to do what I love. I'm just from a small town in Tassie and this goes to show that if you believe you can do something, you can 100 per cent do it if you work for it."
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