‘Australian Dancing Coach’ Rubbishes Rivalry Between Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus

Published 09/27/2021, 3:56 AM EDT


The rivalry between Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus was well documented. Moreover, the Australian beat Ledecky in the 400-meters freestyle competition at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Given her heroics at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Ledecky was the favorite for a triumphant run in Tokyo. However, Titmus rose to the occasion and won the race with a breathtaking swim.

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That sparked wild celebrations from her coach, Dean Boxall, whose moves went viral. Despite that incredible victory, he spoke about how Ledecky was the athlete to be beaten rather than forging a rivalry with her.

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It was never a rivalry between Katie Ledecky and Titmus

The ability of Ledecky is incredible. She possesses a unique technique by using only her hands. However, during the final stages, Ledecky pumps her legs to take over the race dominantly. Hence, many competitors found it hard to defeat her. Boxall, who coaches Titmus, spoke about her being the target at first because Katie was the benchmark.

“In the beginning, it was about Kate. In the beginning, it was. It wasn’t because we wanted to beat Katie, it was because Katie was the benchmark. It was Michael Jordan. If you wanted to beat Chicago Bulls, you’re going to beat Michael Jordan. Michael Phelps. It was having that mentality. We were so far behind it. But there’s Katie. She is the benchmark.”

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 28: Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Women’s 200m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Making her debut back in London in 2012, the swimmer won the gold medal in the 800-meter race when she was just 15 years old. This put her on the world map, making her the athlete everyone wanted to beat.

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Boxall plays down the beef

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The stage was set in Tokyo as Titmus aimed to dethrone Katie. Despite the target being Katie at first, slowly and steadily, Titmus improved her times, as her coach motivated her to be the best.

This is the event you chose, she’s the girl, and I am telling you, you’re not on. You’re not there. And once you do that and take place in the battle, it’s about Arnie being the best Arnie that she can be,” said Boxall.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 13: (BROADCAST – OUT) Swimmer, Katie Ledecky of the United States poses for a photo with her five medals on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The coach had full respect for Ledecky, though. Boxall spoke about her being the ultimate professional and focused on every single minute detail to be the best. Despite Titmus’ victory in Japan, Ledecky will automatically be the favorite to do it all again at Paris 2024.

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Jacob Gijy

500 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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