OMAHA, Neb. — Adelaide, Australia, is 9,482 miles away from the site of the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, but Sunday, it felt like it was next door.
Australia is holding its Olympic swimming trials this week too, and two of its young stars have already sent the Americans a message from far across the Pacific with one world-record swim and another near-world record.
Their performances came little more than a day after American standout and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Lilly King offered a Joe Namath-esque prediction for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics prior to the start of the U.S. trials:
“I think the (U.S.) women, if we have the meet we can have, can win every single individual gold. I think that would be pretty cool, right? But really, just looking at it, I think that is a genuine possibility.”
How quickly did that quote circle the globe and end up on the Aussies’ locker room wall? Fast enough for 20-year-old Australian star Ariarne Titmus, Katie Ledecky’s closest rival, to offer some rather pointed thoughts of her own after a glorious evening for Australian swimming.
Not only did Titmus swim the second-fastest time ever in the 400 freestyle, coming within less than half a second of Ledecky’s world record, her 19-year-old teammate Kaylee McKeown broke American Regan Smith’s world record in the 100 backstroke.
"After Kaylee tonight, I think there's the backstroke gone,” Titmus boldly told the Sydney Morning Herald. “We have chances in a lot of other events. I feel like the Olympics is not going to be all America's way – there are other countries coming through, we'll be in the mix, we have a pretty strong team."
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