I’m at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre for what is arguably the biggest clash of the Olympic swim meet: American Katie Ledecky against Australia’s Ariarne Titmus in the women’s 400m freestyle.
Ledecky has long reigned supreme in the pool; she won an Olympic gold as a 15-year-old and then backed up in Rio to take four and a silver. But Ledecky’s title as queen of the pool is under threat from young Aussie Titmus – nicknamed the Terminator (because her first-name is shortened to “Arnie”). Titmus took down Ledecky in the 2019 world championships – the last time the duo have faced off.
The swimming world has been waiting for this Olympic match-up ever since. It is going to be fast and furious – tune in from 11.20am Tokyo time (although there’s also some cracking action beforehand).
The surfing competition at Tsurigasaki beach has produced a major shock after Australia’s Steph Gilmore, the seven-time world champion and current world No 5, was bundled out on Monday morning. Gilmore had looked in good nick when competition got under way on Sunday, but her medal hopes fell apart 24 hours later in her third round heat against South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag. Buitendag had single wave scores of 6.83 and 7.10 to move ahead of Gilmore, who could not respond in the 14 minutes remaining in the heat.
Gilmore’s exit leaves Australian hopes in the women’s competition with Sally Fitzgibbons, who faces Pauline Ado of France later on.
Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt wins men’s triathlon