“Comes with…” – Swimming star Ariarne Titmus finally opens up about the real reason he skipped the duel with rival Katie Ledecky

Although fans enjoy rivalry in sports, it could put undue stress on athletes. The demand for frequent confrontations between rivals can be taxing on both athletes, which can lead to poor performance. Recently, Ariarne Titmus opened up about a similar situation she faced since the recent Olympics.

ADVERTISING

The article continues below this ad

Ariarne took the lead from Ledecky in the 400m and 200m freestyle events, considered Katie’s mainstays, at the Tokyo Olympics. Moreover, the young swimmer also raised his eyebrows after breaking Ledecky’s 400m freestyle world record at the Australian Swimming Championships on May 22.

ADVERTISING

The article continues below this ad

Rivalry with Katie Ledecky proves stressful for Titmus

After his debut at the Tokyo Olympics, people hailed Titmus as the swimming goat’s pal. However, meeting people’s expectations can be taxing, especially when compared to the best in the sport.

Likewise, the prospect of competing with the GOAT and emerging victorious can lead to increased mental stress. Consequently, the Australian Olympic champion is struggling to cope with the stress of having a new match with Ledecky.

KAZAN, RUSSIA – AUGUST 04: Katie Ledecky of the USA celebrates winning the gold medal with a new world record time of 15.25:48 in the women’s 1500m freestyle final on eleventh day of the 16th FINA World Championships at the Kazan Arena on August 4. 2015 in Kazan, Russia. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

She attributed this mental pressure as the cause of her reluctance to compete in the upcoming world championships in Budapest.

Exponent on the issue, Titmus said, “Last year was huge for me, mentally too, a lot of pressure around my races. I didn’t really want to have to deal with that pressure again (in Budapest).”

Will Ariarne Titmus participate in Duel in the Pool?

The swimmer also hinted at the likelihood of missing the Duel in the Pool meet in Sydney. The meet was originally staged between 2003 and 2007 after the successful hosting of the Sydney Olympics. However, swimming competition resumes this year in August.

Speaking to reporters, Titmus said: “Always decide for Duel in the pool.”

ADVERTISING

The article continues below this ad

“I know people are looking to see if I’m going to run Katie, it’s always a highly anticipated battle,” said the swimmer, noting that fans of the sport are looking forward to a new match.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – DECEMBER 07: Katie Ledecky prepares to compete in the Women’s 1500 LC Meter Freestyle Final on Day Four of the 2019 Toyota US Open Championships at Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center on December 07, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“But the battle with it comes with outside pressure,” adds Ariane.

ADVERTISING

The article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY – Katie Ledecky, 25, sets her best time since 2018 and the sixth-fastest time ever at the World Swimming Trials in the United States

The rivalry between Titmus and Ledecky was the source of much debate during the Tokyo Olympics last year. For one thing, it was Titmus’ first encounter. Also, she surpassed Ledecky in two of her mainstays to win gold in both events. Additionally, she picked up a silver and a bronze, bringing her Olympic medal tally to four in her first competition.