Australia’s Titmus smashes Ledecky’s 400m freestyle world record

Ariarne Titmus clocks 3:56.40 to clinch the 400m freestyle gold at the Australian championships.

Ariarne Titmus.   -  Getty Images (FILE)

Olympic gold medalist Ariarne Titmus has broken the women’s 400-metre freestyle world record at the Australian swimming championships.

Titmus finished in 3 minutes, 56.40 seconds in Sunday night’s final at the South Australian Aquatic Centre to improve on Katie Ledecky's previous mark of 3:56.46 that the American set at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“It’s kind of nice now that I am not going to be asked when I am going to break the world record,” Titmus said. “I am the happiest I have ever been outside of swimming, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life in swimming. It’s definitely showing in the pool.”

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Titmus beat Ledecky for Olympic gold in the 400 and 200 and finished behind the American star in the 800-metre freestyle final at Tokyo last year.

“I am definitely not putting the pressure on myself that I used to but it’s still a healthy amount,” the 21-year-old Titmus said.

“That has been the trick to me swimming well. Just going out there completely fearless, swimming what I used to feel like when I was 16 and first cracked on to the national team and just going there and surprising myself.”

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