Ruck and Titmus steal show in freestyle thriller
Canada’s Taylor Ruck held off a fast finishing Ariarne Titmus of Australia in a thrilling 200m freestyle final on Thursday night.
It was a battle of swimming’s superstar 17-year-olds, a precursor to a rivalry we could see at future Olympics and Commonwealth Games for the next decade.
"I saw Ariarne (Titmus) coming up and I thought she'd won," Ruck said.
"I was like, oh my gosh, and then I looked up at the board and I saw that I'd won. I think I'm still in shock. I don't think I've quite come down yet, so, I don't know.
"Going through my head I thought I just had to keep my head down and try not to breathe because I thought I saw Ariarne coming up really fast and I was thinking, just go as fast as I can. In the last 25m I took two breaths."
Titmus smashed her own personal best in the event and was just 0.02 seconds off breaking the Australian record held by third placed Emma McKeon.
"I can't really complain. I didn't expect to go out fast,” Titmus said.
“I'm really excited. I wanted to win the gold but she was better tonight so I'm really happy with silver.
"To think that a year ago I wasn't really even ranked in the world field for 200m and now I'm swimming 1.54, it's really exciting.
"I think I dropped 0.9 seconds since the (Australian) trials and I haven't done anything differently in training.
"My mind's a bit more focused on how I raced in the event and I think that's why I improved in the event so hopefully I can do the same thing with my other races."
Titmus still has her more favoured 400 and 800m freestyle events to come.
"To have that bit of extra speed for the 400m and 800m events will mean that if things all go to plan, the races should be faster as well."
Australian record holder Emma McKeon claimed the bronze medal.