Ariarne Titmus claims gold in 400m freestyles at the World Championships

Titmus claims gold, Southern Stars retain Ashes & Diamonds suffer World Cup heartbreak

The 18-year-old Australian Ariarne Titmus became the new 400m freestyle world champion after a memorable swim on Sunday. She claimed victory over US powerhouse Katie Ledecky at the FINA World Championships in South Korea, causing a staggering upset on the world stage.

Titmus started to gain metres on Katie Ledecky in the last 50 metres of the 400m swim, overtaking her with only a few metres to go, winning in 3:58.76.

She is the first Australian woman to claim the world 400m title since Tracey Wickham in 1978.

The untouchable Ledecky had never lost a 400m freestyle race on a major international stage before and has held a tight grip on every swim upwards of 400m since 2013.

How did Titmus feel after taking on a five-time Olympic champion and coming away with the win?

“I feel pretty normal,” Titmus said afterwards. “It was just a swimming race. Dean said to me there were three outcomes; you could swim great, you could swim good, you could swim bad but you will still wake up tomorrow.”

Sunday comprised high and lows for Australian female athletes on the world stage.

In Cricket, the Southern Stars retained the Women’s Ashes after a draw in the one-off Test match gave the side a striking 8-2 lead in the series. With a first innings lead of 145, Australia only needed to avoid a loss in order to take home the Ashes. Australia ended the game  on 6-221.

Ellyse Perry continued her excellent form with another half-century from 88 deliveries, adding to the 116 runs she scored in the first innings.

The Diamonds suffered major heartbreak after losing the Netball World Cup to New Zealand by a single goal on Sunday. In the sixth successive World Cup match-up between the two countries, New Zealand came out on top with a final score of 52-51.

“Coming into this I had no idea what to expect,” midcourter Kelsey Browne told the ABC.

“It’s been a huge week and I’m really proud to be part of it. I didn’t know if I was every going to make it, so to play in my first ever World Cup I’m over the Moon. I just wish it went the other way.”

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