Ariarne Titmus’ 400m freestyle short course world record has been shattered as several global marks were broken all around the swimming world this week.
China’s Li Bingjie crushed a new world record of 3:51.30 at the Chinese swimming championships, destroying Titmus’ old record by a massive 2.6 seconds.
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CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy tweeted: “Big news in the swimming world, Ariarne Titmus’ 400m short course world record has just been absolutely obliterated.”
Titmus set the previous world record of 3:53.92 at the world short course swimming championships back in 2018, and it was going to be broken one way or another this week.
A day after Li’s swim, American superfish Katie Ledecky took on Canadian teen sensation Summer McIntosh in an epic battle at the FINA short course world cup event in Toronto.
There was nothing in it as McIntosh out-touched Ledecky by 0.08 seconds — setting a new world junior record in the process.
The times swam by McIntosh (3:52.80) and Ledecky (3:52.88) were both faster than Titmus’ previous world record set four years ago.
Titmus still holds the world record in the long course 400m freestyle, set at this year’s Australian trials.
She narrowly beat McIntosh at the Commonwealth Games but is facing more challenges in her pet event than ever.
Titmus and Ledecky famously faced off at the Tokyo Olympics but rarely contest short course competitions, meaning the Australian Olympic champion’s record in the 25m pool was ripe for the picking.
Titmus, who won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, has been targeting select meets with an eye to the Paris Olympics.
The 22-year-old opted not to compete at the long course championships in Budapest earlier this year and is not in Australia’s team that will race at the world short course titles in Melbourne in December.
It means fans will be robbed of what would be a mouth-watering showdown on Australian soil between Titmus, Ledecky, McIntosh and Li in the 400m freestyle — arguably the most competitive event in world swimming.
Ledecky and McIntosh’s record-breaking feats didn’t stop there.
Proving she truly is the best distance swimmer of all time, Ledecky set a new world record (15:08.24) in the 1500m freestyle in Toronto, smashing the previous mark by 10 seconds.
Remarkably, her 800m split time of 8:00.58 was the third fastest 800m swim of all time and broke the American record in the event.
McIntosh ripped a 4:21.49 in the 400m individual medley, setting another new world junior record as the 16-year-old continued on her winning ways.
Australia’s Kyle Chalmers won the men’s 100m freestyle in Toronto in a time of 45.52, extending his winning streak in the event on the world cup circuit.