Australian Ariarne Titmus has now twice won gold at the Tokyo Games, and both times she beat the reigning Olympic champion of the event: American swimming legend Katie Ledecky.
Two days after winning gold in the women’s 400m freestyle, Titmus won the women’s 200m freestyle on Wednesday, finishing in an Olympic record 1:53.50.
Ledecky finished fifth. It was the first time the American did not make the podium in an individual Olympic event.
Ledecky is considered the most dominant swimmer of all time. She won gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle events at the Rio 2016 Games. Prior to that, she won gold in the 800m freestyle in London 2012. Ledecky won silver in the 400m freestyle on Monday at the Tokyo Games.
She is also considered one of the most versatile competitors in swimming. Although his best events are the distance, his reach, if compared to the sprint, would be like Usain Bolt running in the 200m, 400m and 1500m events.
Dominant display: While Ledecky’s disappointing finish in the 200m freestyle has fueled rumors of his demise, his impressive performance minutes later might force doubters to think twice.
Ledecky crushed the field in the first-ever women’s 1,500m freestyle event, finishing more than four seconds ahead of fellow American Erica Sullivan to claim gold. This is all the more impressive as she barely used her legs. A Team USA staffer said Ledecky was saving energy as he had two events left to play.
Ledecky will compete in the 800m freestyle and is also considered a favorite to win it.
By the time she finishes in Tokyo, Ledecky will have swum 6,000 meters (3.7 miles) by the end of the competition. To put that into context, Michael Phelps swam a total of 3,300 meters when he won eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.