Titmus' thrilling world record chase electrifies crowd

Titmus' thrilling world record chase electrifies crowd

Brisbane: Ariarne Titmus treated the night-one crowd at Australia’s Paris 2024 swimming trials to an exhilarating pursuit of her own 400m freestyle world record.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist fell short of the mark, but only by 0.06 of a second, as an electric crowd cheered on the superstar at Brisbane Aquatic Centre.

Titmus won the 400m final with a time of 3:55.44, almost breaking the 3:55.38 world record she had set at the world championships in Fukuoka last year.

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Before the 23-year-old took to the pool on Monday night, Canadian teen sensation Summer McIntosh owned the fastest time of the year, having clocked 3:59.06.

Lani Pallister, 22, finished second and met Swimming Australia’s Olympic qualification time easily, posting 4:02.27, meaning she will join Titmus in the 400m in Paris.

“I thought there was a chance [of breaking the world record] but you really don’t think about those things,” Titmus told media poolside.

Ariarne Titmus.

A smiling Ariarne Titmus after her exhilarating world record pursuit on night one of the trials. Chris Hyde/Getty Image

“But swimming that close to the record gives me good confidence. The goal isn’t to swim my best here; the goal is to just book my ticket.

“I’m excited to see what I can do now in Paris.”

Watch Australia’s Paris 2024 swimming trials on Nine and 9Now.

In the French capital in just over a month’s time, Titmus will be out to defend the Olympic 400m gold medal she won at the Tokyo Olympics.

She’s expected to clash with American legend Katie Ledecky, Canada’s McIntosh and Kiwi young gun Erika Fairweather in what promises to be a pulsating showdown.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of this [400m gold medal contention],” Titmus said.

“I kind of wish that I was watching on as a swimming fan because you look back at the legacy points in swimming with Thorpey [Ian Thorpe] and Hacky [Grant Hackett] and Kieren [Perkins], and being a swimming fan then would have been so fun, so I think about what it would be like to be a swimming fan now. I just feel so honoured and proud of the work I’ve done to be in this position to be able to be a part of this contention to win gold.”

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