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Surprising confession from Ariarne Titmus about her rival Katie Ledeky

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 29/07/2021 Sam McPhee For Daily Mail Australia
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Two-time Olympic gold medallist Ariarne Titmus has admitted she's 'absolutely buggered' as Australia's Golden Girl has one final run at a medal.

Titmus, who has become the star of the country's Tokyo Games, admitted she's feeling the emotional and physical strain of her first games and carrying the hopes of a nation.

Emma McKeon, Katie Ledecky posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

'It's a big day today. I had one and a half hours in my room today. I'm absolutely buggered,' Titmus told Channel 7.    

'Honestly I'm exhausted. I keep thinking back to Beijing, it was the same as this morning's heats. Phelps won eight golds. I have done two and I'm wrecked. 

'It puts into perspective for me how amazing he was. I'm going to rest up as much as I can and get ready for my last race at the Olympics.' 

Emma McKeon et al. posing for the camera: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (   ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The 20-year-old Tasmanian, who won gold in the women's 200m and 400m freestyle over American superstar Katie Ledecky, paid tribute to her arch-rival for keeping her going. 

'I love racing Katie. It is nice to be on my own a little bit. It's been really good this week. We've been getting along really well,' Titmus said.

'We've really enjoyed racing each other. I mean, we don't get to do it often. It's so fun for us to be able to race. So, I am looking forward to two days' time.' 

Titmus swum first in Australia's 4x200m relay on Thursday who were red hot favourites for the event, instead coming in third in a lineup that confused legends Ian Thorpe and Giaan Rooney. 

Just before the race, Aussie swimming Thorpe said he was confused with the team's line-up as Titmus stepped up to the blocks. 

'I'm a little curious about the order they are swimming in,' the nine-time Olympic medallist said.

Former Olympic gold medallist Giaan Rooney echoed his sentiment, saying it was a 'big miss' to have O'Callaghan out of the team.

'I don't know for sure but I think the idea was for both Titmus & McKeon to swim fast but 'comfortably' up front (they both have individual events left) & to have enough of a lead after Wilson for Neale to anchor - biggest miss was Mollie O - 1.55.10 in the heat,' she tweeted following the race.

'Would love to know the thought process behind it.' 

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Titmus admitted she has started to feel the weight of competing across four events, paying tribute to the Games' most decorated Olympian Phelps for having the stamina to keep going.

She qualified sixth-fastest for the final of the 800m freestyle, which is her final event and final race against Ledecky.  

'This is probably my toughest backup and it's not an easy 800 in the morning,' Titmus said. 

'This is a really deep field. I knew I had to be tough and swim a solid swim to get through. I think should be fine with that time.' 

Titmus and others are long odds to upset Olympic champion and world record holder Ledecky.

The American was fastest into the final in 8:15.67 with her 15-year-old teammate Katie Grimes (8:17.05) next best.

Titmus finished second in her heat and was sixth-quickest into the final in 8:18.99 with compatriot Kiah Melverton (8:20.45) seventh. 

a man and woman swimming in the water: ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( a woman holding a sign posing for the camera: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

Titmus' teammate Kaylee McKeown is on track in her quest to also become a double gold medallist at the Tokyo Games. 

The 100m backstroke gold medallist enhanced her claims for the 200m backstroke title in Thursday night's heats.

McKeown won her heat in two minutes 08.18 seconds to be fastest into the semi-finals.

Compatriot Emily Seebohm (2:09.10) was eighth-quickest. 

In the newly-introduced 4x100m mixed medley, Australia's team of Isaac Cooper (backstroke), 200m breaststroke gold medallist Zac Stubblety-Cook (breaststroke), Brianna Throssell (butterfly) and Bronte Campbell (freestyle) finished second behind China.

The Chinese were third-fastest qualifiers with Australia fourth in a field headed by Great Britain and the United States.

In the men's 100m butterfly, Matt Temple advanced through the heats to the semi-finals but countryman David Morgan missed out.

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