Swimming at Tokyo 2020: Titmus, Ohashi hogs the limelight again

Titmus had beaten Ledecky to gold in the 400m freestyle on Monday, and she becomes the first Australian woman to complete the 200-400 Olympic double since Shane Gould at the Munich 1972 Games.

Ariarne Titmus of Team Australia poses with her gold medal on the podium after winning the Women's 200m Freestyle Final on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Ariarne Titmus (Australia) and Yui Ohahsi (Japan) proved their class yet again, helping themselves to a second gold medal in three days at the Tokyo aquatics Centre on Wednesday. The action packed day also saw American Katie Ledecky redeem some of the prestige that she had lost while falling behind Titmus in the women’s 400m free, clinching gold in the newly introduced 1500m free stamping her class over the rest of the field with a huge 4 second margin.

Titmus once again swam a calculated race, pacing well through the four-lapper, before coming back from behind in the women’s 200m free, with a new Olympic record to boot. The 20-year-old lagged behind in the initial part of the race before she slowly but surely took control and then finally kicked in at an impressive time of 1:53.50. to add to the 400m free style title she had won the second day of the competition.

READ| Ariarne Titmus, new queen of the pool crowned at Tokyo Olympics

Hong Kong's Bernadette Siobhan Haughey did her country proud as she slipped ahead of Canada’s Penny Oleksiak for the silver with a new Asian record time of 1:53.92, while the Canadian collected the bronze by returning at 1:54.70.

Ohashi, much to the glee of the home team camp, again asserted her class in the women’s 200m individual medley with a hard fought win against her American rivals, Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass. The 20-year-old, who had won rather surprisingly the 400m individual medley title earlier came good at the right time and once she leapt into the lead was unstoppable before touching the wall in 2:08.52. Walsh in at 2:08.65 took silver, while Douglass won the bronze, clocking 2;)9.04.

The reigning champion and world record holder, Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) once again failed to impress and had to settle with a poor seventh place, the same spot she finished in the 400m event, even as Ohashi celebrated on her grand success.

READ| America's Katie Ledecky wins 1500m freestyle, gets sixth career gold

Ledecky led the United States to a 1-2 finish in the women’s 1500m, but it was always a one-horse race as the star performer from Rio 2016, took to the lead almost straight away and stayed right on top before stopping the clock dead at 15:37.34 at the end of the gruelling 30-lap affair. Team-mate Erica Sullivan who followed next was timed at 15:41.41 while German Sarah Kohler, finished further behind in 15:42.91 for the bronze medal.

Hungarian Kristof Milak expectedly took the top of the podium place in the men’s 200m butterfly final, confirming the gold medal with a new Olympic record time of 1:51.25. Japan’s Tomoru Hondo took silver in 1:53.73, ahead of Federico Burdisso (Italy), third in 1:54.45.

Great Britain emerged a surprise winner of the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, helping itself to a new European record time of 6:58.58 ahead of Russia (7:01.81) and Australia (7.01.84) which with a last-gasp effort knocked off the all-conquering American quartet off the pedestal.

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