The Roar
The Roar


'Bloody exhausted,' but Arnie brings down Ledecky again for 200m gold

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28th July, 2021

Ariarne Titmus has made it a golden double to beat Katie Ledecky to win the gold medal in the 200m women’s freestyle.

If Ariarne Titmus vs Katie Ledecky in the 400m was big, the re-match in the 200 reached fever pitch with interest at an all-time high in women’s swimming despite no crowds in Tokyo.

Titmus famously came from behind in the 400 and in the shorter event, she had no time to try the same tactic – instead going stroke-for-stroke with Ledecky.


Ledecky was the defending champion the 200m, but both swimmers went out slowly for the first lap.

At the halfway point Titmus was in fifth and Ledecky was seventh.

Ariarne then made her move and Ledecky couldn’t follow.

Hong Kong swimmer Siobhan Bernadette Haughey ended up being her closest challenger but Titmus found something late to power home.

Katie Ledecky ended up finishing fifth.


It was an Olympic record for Titmus in 1:53:90 and cemented her spot as an Australian swimming legend.

I’m bloody exhausted. I knew Siobhan wanted to win that race and knew it would be tough to beat her,” she said after the race.

“I was trying to mow Siobhan (Haughey) down in the first 50. I knew I had Katie (Ledecky) covered but Siobhan was there. I’m relieved to get it done.”

“Once I stop racing I think I’ll release everything. I don’t want to ruin the rest of my meet by celebrating too hard.”

“It wasn’t the time I wanted to swim but it’s the Olympics and there is a lot going on.

“I feel good, it is crazy to think I’m only halfway through my program here I still have the relay and 800m to go.”

“I’m just from a small town in Tassie and it just goes to show if you believe you can do something you can 100 percent do it if you work for it.”

Ariarne’s parents Steve and Robyn were pumped after seeing their daughter complete the double.


“I nearly had a heart attack,” Steve Titmus told Channel 7.

“What an incredible comeback. We knew she would come really really hard.”

Ariarne’s grandparents Sandra and Kevin Farrelly were also interviewed. They were a viral hit during the Commonwealth Games three years ago with their cheering in the stands. They were asked about the tough decision for Ariarne’s parents to move away to Tasmania to help chase her dream.

“At the beginning there were reservations,” Sandra said.

“They worked it out so well and we said ‘well for her future they’ve got to do it.’ It’s paid off, hasn’t it? Well and truly.”

1. Ariarne Titmus (AUS) – 1:53:50 (OR)
2. Siobhan Bernadette Haughey (HKG) – 1:53:92
3. Penny Oleskiak (CAN) – 1:54:70
5. Katie Ledecky (USA) – 1:55:21