The 3:57.36 clip that Ledecky swam successful the 400m freestyle last was, successful fact, the champion that she's ever produced extracurricular of her satellite grounds (3:56.46). Titmus (3:56.69), conscionable 0.23 extracurricular the satellite record, was simply better. Full stop.
Americans, connected societal media successful particular, person been losing their minds implicit Titmus beating Ledecky, seemingly forgetting that the Aussie besides bushed the US large implicit 400m astatine the 2019 satellite championships.
Sports Illustrated elder writer Pat Forde offered a spot of cool-headed context.
Some successful the US media judge that Titmus had Ledecky, a five-time Olympic golden medallist and the defending 400m champion, spooked earlier their race.
"Her eyes gave her away, though, belying a trepidation inconsistent with arguably the astir ascendant pistillate swimmer successful history," the San Diego Union Tribune's Mark Ziegler wrote.
"She looked nervous, anxious, tense, concerned. Justifiably so, it turned out. Four minutes later, her astir decade-long reign implicit region swimming had been usurped by a 20-year-old from the Australian land of Tasmania."
Ledecky's bequest is being dissected successful the aftermath of her defeat; the archetypal clip that she's mislaid an idiosyncratic lawsuit astatine the Olympics.
"Ledecky has been much admired than beloved; she has been astir arsenic ascendant arsenic Simone Biles but not astir arsenic amusive to watch," Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg wrote.
"In Rio, she won this contention by astir 5 seconds, which is simply a lifetime. The spread betwixt Ledecky and metallic medallist Jazz Carlin was wider than betwixt metallic and seventh place.
"It was absurd, but erstwhile she gets truthful acold up that she is fundamentally unsocial connected your tv screen, what other is determination to say?"
US sports writers were mightily impressed with however Titmus brought Ledecky backmost to earth.
"Australia's Ariarne Titmus — nicknamed the "Terminator" — lived up to her billing erstwhile she chased down Ledecky successful the 400 freestyle to triumph 1 of the astir anticipated races of the Summer Games," the Associated Press' Paul Newberry wrote.
"For the archetypal clip successful her superb Olympic career, Ledecky felt the sting of defeat, dished retired by a rival from Down Under who made it wide she was not intimidated by the American star."
Ledecky herself was gracious, praising the Aussie's race.
"I fought bony and nail," Ledecky said. "She decidedly swam a truly astute race. She was truly controlled up front. I felt beauteous creaseless and beardown going retired and flipped astatine the 300 and it was like, 'Oh, she's close there'."
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