By: Rachael Tan
On the opening night of the national trials on Tuesday, Australian swimming superstar Ariarne Titmus surprised the entire swimming community when she revealed she was thinking about quitting the sport after next year’s Paris Olympics.
There was visible excitement at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on Tuesday evening at the women’s 400m freestyle final. The event not only featured Titmus but also Australian stars, Lani Pallister and Kiah Melverton.
Swimming fans had come to see Titmus, the reigning Olympic champion, try and win back her 400m freestyle world record; a record which professional swimmer Summer McIntosh beat back in March.
Titmus touched the wall in 3 minutes 58 seconds, more than two seconds behind McIntosh’s new world best of 3:56s.
Although it was easily fast enough to book her ticket to Fukuoka for July 23rd’s world titles, Titmus admitted she had a lower time in mind.
Titmus says that she had discussed the idea of an early retirement with her coach Dean Boxall earlier this year after winning this week’s 200m and 400m freestyle gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Many fans believe Titmus will be retiring after competing in Paris. However, Titmus said that this is not her intention, but that things could change depending on how she performs in Paris.
Titmus said in an interview, “It becomes harder to keep training at the same level when you have essentially achieved everything you wanted to achieve.”
She claimed that there was nothing wrong with her love of the sport, or her physical condition, but was the motivational factor that made it harder for her to persist.
“I don't know what I'm going to do after Paris,” Titmus told reporters. “I plan to continue, but you never know.”