“Never Really About Katie:” Ariarne Titmus Claims Fans ‘Forged’ Her Rivalry With Katie Ledecky at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 09/13/2021, 8:51 AM EDT
Ariarne Titmus reacts after competing in a women’s 400m freestyle heat during day two of the Australian Olympic swimming trials in Adelaide on June 13, 2021. – — IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE — (Photo by Brenton Edwards / AFP) / — IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE — (Photo by BRENTON EDWARDS/AFP via Getty Images)


The rivalry of Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus is well documented within the swimming fraternity. The former is rising her way to becoming the undisputed GOAT of swimming; while the latter is keen to prove otherwise. Ever since Ledecky won four golds and a silver medal at Rio Olympics 2016, she has been on everyone’s radar. However, Titmus proved her credentials in Tokyo as she beat Ledecky in the 400-meter freestyle race. Titmus, however, cooled down rumors of a rivalry between the two swimmers in a recent interview.

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Ariarne Titmus underplays rivalry with Ledecky

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In a recent interview on ‘Inside with Brett Hawke’, the talented Australian swimmer spoke about how fans started a rivalry between them when it never existed.

“This was never about Katie really, I mean initially, when I joined Dean it was just to crack onto the Australian Team at the time of the Rio Olympics. It wasn’t till 2019 when people tried to start and forge this rivalry between us and I guess our times were getting closer and closer,” said Titmus.

Beating Ledecky was never going to be straightforward. She made her debut at the 2012 London Olympics where she earned the gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle. Fans took notice of this swimming sensation as her career skyrocketed from there.

After years of dominance in Rio and several other world championships, Ledecky was believed to be immortal. But, the wonder kid from down under climbed up the ladder.

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Titmus vs Ledecky: A battle for the ages

Titmus and Ledecky started their duel in the 2019 Gwangju World Championships when she beat her in the 400-meter freestyle competition. After beating Ledecky in her favorite 400-meter event, the world took notice of this swimmer from down under. Due to this, Titmus knew she had to defeat Ledecky in Tokyo in hopes of dethroning the champion.

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“To win the Olympics, I have to beat Katie Ledecky. That’s when I started to think about the gold medal and know that she was the one person I guess cliche, standing in my way. But it was never really about Katie Ledecky from the start, and just try to improve myself as an athlete,” said Titmus.

That turned out to be the case in Tokyo. The Australian set a time of 3:56.69 to beat her in a dramatic race. Despite Ledecky leading the race for the first 300-meters, Titmus came back strong to win the race. That even sparked wild celebrations from her coach, Dean Boxall.

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Moving ahead to Paris 2024, big questions are begging to be answered. Ledecky Vs Titmus is not over yet.

WATCH THIS STORY- Tokyo Olympics 2020: Simone Biles Heartbreaking Withdrawal, Michael Phelps Supporting Her, Everything Else You Need to Know

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Jacob Gijy

410 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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