Titmus pips rising teen in Games classic

·1-min read

When Ariarne Titmus looked across her lane she didn't just see her training partner Mollie O'Callaghan.

She saw herself.

"She's young. She's feisty. She's hungry," Titmus said of O'Callaghan.

"She's what I was like - and I am still like that."

The Australians turned Friday night's women's 200m freestyle final at the Commonwealth Games into a classic.

Titmus, the Olympic champion, was under world record splits at the last turn. Then she saw a steaming 18-year-old O'Callaghan.

Titmus was expecting it. So she'd turned her head to the other side when breathing just so she could watch O'Callaghan.

"I was breathing the other way on the third lap," Titmus said.

"I thought that was when I could put my foot down and make a move.

"Then I saw her on the turn. And thought 'she's there'."

Titmus summoned her renowned fighting spirit to hold off the precocious teen by the proverbial fingernail, winning by just 0.12 seconds.

Both Titmus and O'Callaghan were under the previous Commonwealth Games record by almost a second.

"I knew coming in, she would be there," Titmus said of the emerging force known as Mollie O.

"She has been improving every day. It's exciting for her to keep me on my toes."

Titmus and O'Callaghan are both coached by Dean Boxall.

"It's weird because he's giving us both race plans to win but it's just whoever performs at the end of the day," O'Callaghan said.

"Arnie has a lot of experience racing the 200 and it's just amazing how close I got. I'm pretty happy with that in general."

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