Titmus Breaks World Record, Claims Gold in the 400m Freestyle

Adam Weinberg
By:
Adam Weinberg
25/07/2023
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Titmus Reigns Supreme Over Stacked Field and Sets a New World Record

Titmus set a new world record to defeat Ledecky and McIntosh and win gold in the swimming world championships 400m freestyle. 

News Insights

  • Modern day ‘Race of the Century’.
  • Titmus breaks world record to win gold.
  • Titmus becomes first female to break 3:56.
  • Australians excelled all-around on Sunday.

Australia’s AriarneTitmus prevailed over world record holder Summer McIntosh and defending world champion Katie Ledecky to win gold in the women’s 400m freestyle at the swimming world championships; claiming both of those titles in the process in what was dubbed the ‘Race of the Century’. 

Race of the Century?

AriarneTitmus is the reigning Olympic champion, Summer McIntosh set a new world record just months ago, and Katie Ledecky won the world championships last year. 

The women’s 400m freestyle final at the world championships this year featured all three and was being touted as the ‘Race of the Century’. Last used as a label for the 2004 Olympic men’s 200m freestyle which featured Michael Phelps, Australia’s Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett, and Pieter van den Hoogenband it takes a special field to earn that status. 

Rightfully so, the 400m freestyle final from Sunday earned that name. 

All three women have held the world record at some point and though they are at different points in their careers, they are all still worthy of gold medal consideration. 

Ledecky is widely considered the best female swimmer ever, Titmus is an established Olympic Champion, and McIntosh is a 16-year-old prodigy who burst onto the scene at those same Olympics at just 14 years old. 

Together in one race while they are in form, you get the Race of the Century. And in large part to Titmus’s otherworldly performance the swimming world was not let down. 

Titmus Wins Gold with World Record Swim

Australia’s AriarneTitmus obliterated the former world record set by Summer McIntosh just months ago to claim gold in the 400m freestyle at the swimming world championships on Sunday. 

Titmus swam brilliantly and after being in second at the first turn, led the rest of the way en route to the win. Already ahead by about a body length at the 250m mark, Titmus swam at a blistering pace over the final 150m extending her lead with each stroke before eventually winning by more than three seconds.  

She shattered McIntosh’s former world record of 3:56.08 finishing at 3:55.38 and becoming the first ever woman to swim sub 3:56 in the event. 

Ledecky, who finished second, was well of the pace of the Australian coming in at 3:58.73 and McIntosh stumbled down to fourth behind New Zealand’s Erika Fairweather. 

With the swim, Titmus cemented herself as the women to beat in this stacked event as she now holds the world record, the Olympic gold, and world championships gold simultaneously. 

Though it wasn’t the nail-biting, down to the wire race that many expected, thanks to Titmus’s brilliance swimming fans were treated to a thriller as it was one of the most impressive and dominating performances the sport has seen. 

Australia’s Successful Day in the Pool

Titmus was not Australia’s only successful act on the night as they secured a total of four gold medals, surpassing their previous best for one day at a world championship. 

Sam Short narrowly edged out Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui by two one-hundredths of a second to claim gold in the men’s 400m freestyle. 

The Australian men and women were both crowned world champions in the 4x100m freestyle events with the men edging out Italy and the USA while the women shattered their own world record mark by nearly two seconds. 

AriarneTitmus charged ahead of the stacked women’s 400m freestyle field and never looked back claiming the gold medal and setting a new world record in the process. Her performance was as impressive as they come while Australia as a whole had their most successful world championship day ever with four gold medals.