No rest in sight for Aussie swimmer Titmus

Laine Clark
World champion and Australian swimmer of the year Ariarne Titmus is focused on the Tokyo Olympics

Instead of a well earned Christmas break, Australia's reigning swimmer of the year Ariarne Titmus is set to go to "a new level" in her Tokyo Olympic preparation under hard-marking coach Dean Boxall.

The 19-year-old has plenty to celebrate after capping a breakout 2019 by cleaning up at the Swimming Australia Awards in Sydney on Sunday night.

The world champion took out the top gong while also collecting short course swimmer of the year honours and sharing the Patron Award.

It acknowledged a stellar year in which the teenager famously dethroned American great Katie Ledecky to claim 400m freestyle gold at the 2019 world titles in South Korea in July.

But Titmus admitted there would be no time to toast her success under her coach Boxall with Tokyo looming.

Asked if she would receive a Christmas break, Titmus told Swimming Australia: "Ah, no way.

"Everything is going to be on a whole new level and time's going to go quick (ahead of the Tokyo Olympics).

"But I think we're going to have to enjoy it as well and know that we are heading towards something great and not many people get to do that.

"It is all towards one big goal, things will definitely ramp up. We're going to have more energy and we're going to need to give more energy."

Titmus announced herself on the world stage in July when she upset Ledecky in the 400m final, marking the first time the 14-time world champion had been beaten over 400m, 800m or 1500m freestyle at a major international meet since 2012.

Titmus became the first Australian to win the world 400m title since Tracey Wickham back in 1978.

She also inspired Australia's 4x200m freestyle gold at Gwangju, claimed in a new world record as part of her four medal haul in South Korea.

Titmus' heroics helped Australia finish second overall on the world titles medal tally behind the all conquering Americans.

Not surprisingly Titmus' mentor, St Peters Western club's Boxall was named coach of the year and youth coach of the year for 2019 on Sunday night.

Boxall vowed to keep the pressure on Titmus as they counted down to the 2020 Games.

"She trusts that I will create and provide her with the best environment and training program and trust that she will execute it to the last 'nth' of her fibre," he said.

"And she's going to need that."

Meanwhile, Kareena Lee - the first Australian swimmer selected on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic team - was named open water swimmer of the year after her top 10 finish in the women's 10km Open event at the world titles.