Two-time Tokyo Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus lost in the 200m freestyle final to young Molly O’Callaghan in a tough Australian swimming championships on the Gold Coast, south (east) of Brisbane on Thursday, while Kyle Chalmers lost in the men’s 100m.
At 19, O’Callaghan, the 2022 world champion in the 100m, won in 1min 55sec 15/100 over Titmus, who had already won national titles in the 400m and 800m free.
Young Canadian star Summer McIntosh, 16, and American Katie Ledecky were fastest this year in the 200 freestyle.
“I’m happy with my time, but I would have liked it to be faster,” the swimmer said after his race. “At the end I felt dead, I’m not going to lie. I don’t have legs yet.”
On Monday, Molly O’Callaghan had already beaten 100m freestyle gold medalist Emma McKeon in Tokyo to set her best performance of the year over the distance.
Shayna Jack finished third in the 200m backstroke ahead of world record holder Kaylee McKeon.
On the men’s side, Chalmers, who finished second to top American competitor Caleb Dressel in Tokyo after winning gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, showed he is still on course in the 100m in 48 seconds. He beat a very young Kai Taylor (in the 200m) and Flynn Southam.
“The most important thing for me is the team’s success before the individual success, so having these young people with me (on the podium) I hope we will do something better next year (at the Paris Olympics). Relay,” Chalmers said.
In other events, Samuel Williamson won the 50m breaststroke (27.48), while Olympic bronze medalist Brendan Smith won the 400m medley (4:16.37).
Australia’s best swimmers will return to the pools in Melbourne in June for the qualifiers for the world championships in Fukuoka (Japan) a month later.
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