Ariarne Titmus stuns swimming world in 'utterly incredible' moment

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Ariarne Titmus, pictured here after narrowly missing out on breaking the 200m freestyle world record.
Ariarne Titmus narrowly missed out on breaking the 200m freestyle world record. Image: Amazon Prime

Ariarne Titmus has sent the swimming world into overdrive after clocking the second-fastest women's 200m freestyle time in history.

The Queenslander touched the wall in 1min 53.09sec at the Australian Olympic trials on Monday night, more than a second faster than American superstar Katie Ledecky this season.

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Titmus' time was just 0.11 seconds outside Federica Pellegrini's world record of 1:52.98, set in 2009 during the 'super-suit' era and widely thought to be unbreakable.

"It's pretty crazy. That record is very old and no one really has been close to breaking it in a long time," said Titmus, who posted the second-best time ever over 400m on Sunday.

"I knew that tonight if I swam the way that I wanted to race I had a 1:53 in me. 

"I was pretty nervous, but last night's (400m) swim gave me confidence."

Grant Hackett declared Titmus' swim “the greatest 200m freestyle swim we have ever seen from a woman".

"Pellegrini did that in a super-suit back in 2009. That is unbelievable," Hackett said in commentary for Amazon Prime.

Emma McKeon went out hard and led through 100m, before Titmus turned on the afterburners to storm home.

The versatile McKeon, who had already booked her ticket to Tokyo in the 100m butterfly, ended second in 1:54.74 to also qualify.

Fans and fellow commentators were also left stunned by Titmus insane time.

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Kaylee McKeown continues incredible meet

Meanwhile, Kaylee McKeown swam the year's quickest 200m medley as she ramped up her own Olympic preparations.

A day after smashing the 100m backstroke world record, McKeown backed up by touching in 2mins 08.19secs in the 200m medley - the fastest this year ahead of American rival Madisyn Cox.

"I didn't get much sleep. But you have to come back this morning (for the heats) and tonight, I wouldn't have it any other way, we're racing tough," said McKeown.

Ariarne Titmus, pictured here hugging Emma McKeon after the women's 200m freestyle final.
Ariarne Titmus hugs Emma McKeon after winning the women's 200m freestyle final. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

"There was some pressure off because we knew I had made the team, but that doesn't mean that we give up on the rest of our races. 

"It's just heads up, bums down and give it our best."

Tessa Wallace finished second but outside the tough qualifying standard set by Swimming Australia.

To make the team for Japan, Australian athletes must match or better the time needed to make the final at the 2019 world championships.

McKeown will also swim the 200m backstroke in Adelaide, with American Regan Smith's world record on the line.

with agencies

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