ADELAIDE: Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus smashed Katie Ledecky's 400m freestyle world record at the Australian championships on Sunday, touching in 3mins 56.40secs.
The 21-year-old upset Ledecky in the Tokyo Olympic pool last year to claim gold and has now shattered the American great's world best of 3:56.46 set at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
"Oh my God, I've just loved swimming the past six months, just going to training with no pressure and just enjoying the sport'', she said poolside in Adelaide.
"I never thought this meet, post Olympics, I'd be swimming faster than Olympic trials and the Olympic Games. I guess if you keep surprising yourself it keeps the sport interesting."
Titmus was under world record pace for the entire race, turning at the halfway mark in 1:56.99 before bringing it home to huge cheers from the crowd.
Ledecky won the 400 free at the US trials last month in 3:59.52.
But Titmus is not expected to defend her world title against Ledecky in Budapest in June, opting to skip the event and focus on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July.
It capped an impressive meet for Titmus who won the 200m freestyle in 1:53.31, the third fastest time ever, and clocked a personal best in the 100m.
It was the second world record of the championships after Olympic 200m breaststroke champion Zac Stubblety-Cook smashed the mark on Thursday, hitting the wall in 2:05.95. — AFP