Australia stands idly by for four minutes

IIn Rio de Janeiro, Katie Ledecky finished faster after eight lanes across the 50-meter pool. Her world record over 400 meters freestyle since then, 3:56.46 minutes, swam en route to one of four gold medals in Brazil, still stands today. On Monday in Tokyo, Kathleen Genevieve Ledecky of Washington, D.C. was faster than ever, except for that time in Rio: 3:57.36.

“Fifty-three, that’s a great time,” said Ariarn Titmus. you should know. I swam behind my hands. I swam next to my lydy. Then I swam in front of my hands. Ariarn Titmus swam faster than Katie Ledecky. Ariarn Titmus, born almost 21 years ago in Launceston, Tasmania, is the first woman to win an individual race at the Olympics against Katie Ledecky.

In Australia, a country igniting much of its not-so-small sporting pride in its swimmers’ victories over the Americans, public life came to a standstill for nearly four minutes on Monday, Ariarn Titmus was then told. At their old school, St Peters Lutheran College in Indorobili, Queensland, students in the auditorium would watch the broadcast. “I am very humbled, to be a part of this story,” the winner said at her post-race press conference. Ariarn Titmus has risen to the ranks of the great Australian swimmers.

Katie Ledecky swam to 15 world titles between 2013 and 2019. But in Gwangju, at the world championships two years ago, Katie Ledecky lost the 400 metres. against Ariarne Titmus, a young Australian who moved to Queensland with her parents, for sporting opportunities. And so Katie Ledecky was accompanied by a few questions as she walked toward the starting block of Runway 4 in Tokyo on Monday morning. Now 24, at the US Trials in Omaha, Nebraska in June, she won what can be won – but the times have raised a question that haunts her now: Is Katie Ledecky still the indomitable? Or is this an old lydy?

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