The Australian Ariarne Titmus has now won gold twice at the Tokyo Games and both times defeated the reigning Olympic champion of the event: the 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 it with an Olympic record time of 1: 53.50.
Ledecky finished fifth. It was the first time that the American failed to make the podium in an individual Olympic competition.
Ledecky is considered the most dominant swimmer of all time. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, she won gold in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle. Before that, she won gold in the 800m freestyle in London in 2012. Ledecky won silver in the 400m freestyle at the Tokyo Games on Monday.
She is also considered to be one of the most versatile competitors in swimming. Although her best disciplines are distance, her range compared to sprinting would be like Usain Bolt’s in the 200, 400 and 1500 meter races.
Dominant display: If Ledecky’s disappointing finish in the 200m freestyle fueled talk of her downfall, just a few minutes later her sovereign performance could make doubters pause for thought.
Ledecky beat the field in the first-ever women’s 1500m freestyle event, taking more than four seconds ahead of American Erica Sullivan for gold. Sometimes that’s all the more impressive since she barely used her legs. A member of the US team said Ledecky saved her energy because she still had two events to go.
Ledecky will compete in the 800m freestyle and is considered a favorite to win this too.
By the time she finishes in Tokyo, Ledecky will have swum a staggering 6,000 meters (3.7 miles) by the time she finishes the competition. For comparison: Michael Phelps swam a total of 3,300 meters when he won gold eight times at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
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