Terminator 2: Another Tokyo gold for laser-focused Aussie

Jul 27, 2021, 2:16 PM | Updated: Jul 28, 2021, 3:42 am

TOKYO (AP) — Briefly, the Terminator showed she’s still human as her eyes welled up with tears during the medal ceremony.

Ariarne Titmus allowed herself that moment having just completed the first part of her Olympic mission with unflinching focus.

Titmus, the Australian swimmer who took down Katie Ledecky on Monday, did it again on Wednesday to claim her second freestyle gold medal.

As she did to Ledecky, the ice-cold Aussie known as the Terminator hunted down leader Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong in another ruthless finish, adding gold in the 200-meter freestyle to her scintillating triumph over Ledecky in the 400 free.

“I’m only halfway through my program,” Titmus said after taking both those titles off Ledecky.

Ledecky finished out of the medals completely in Wednesday’s 200 but did recover to record a dominant win in the 1,500 freestyle, which Titmus didn’t swim.

Titmus’ Terminator nickname matches her swimming style, but also her in-competition character. She’s only 20, but she seems to have already mastered the art of letting nothing distract her from the target.

“I feel like I’m pretty good at containing my emotions,” she said. “I knew that was something I had to do very well.”

Even the absence of fans at the Tokyo Olympics because of the pandemic — while a shame — doesn’t make much difference to Titmus once she’s in the pool and hunting gold medals: “When you’re in your zone, it doesn’t really matter.”

Her reaction to possible distractions from social media is simple, and seems highly effective. She deleted every social media app off her phone while she’s at the Olympics, she said. Nothing gets in the way.

“I am only speaking to my family a tiny bit, not that much either,” she said.

“I’ve just tried to not read anything (on social media) … I think it’s good to be able to be off that when you’re racing. It’s another thing you don’t have to worry about.”

Titmus did allow two moments of emotion to seep out on Wednesday: On the podium, and also in an intimate exchange with coach Dean Boxall, whose strutting, thrusting, fist-pumping celebrations in the stands have been a feature of her victories.

After her second gold, Titmus and Boxall stood close together and talked, both seemingly with tears in their eyes.

“Seeing him emotional made me emotional because this is a great partnership,” Titmus said. “This is not just me winning. This is him winning as well.”

Titmus explained that emotion flowed because she’s got a small break now before the hunt continues, and she took the opportunity to exhale.

She’s part of the Aussie team in the 4×200 freestyle relay final on Thursday and will end her Olympics with a third battle against Ledecky in the 800 free, where Ledecky again is the favorite.

Terminator-like, Titmus said it was time now to “reset and focus” for the rest of the mission.

___

More AP Olympic coverage: https://www.apnews.com/OlympicGames and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A photograph taken using a drone shows Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium after owners the Gl...
Associated Press

Man United owners not taking semi-annual dividend

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester United’s owners have not taken their semi-annual dividend for fiscal year 2023, according to the Premier League club’s quarterly financial reports. The decision preceded the Glazer family’s recent announcement that it would consider putting the club up for sale. Dividends amounting to $44 million were paid to the Glazers and […]
18 hours ago
Newly acquired Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Trea Turner laughs during his introductory news conf...
Associated Press

Trea Turner, Phillies finalize 11-year, $300M contract

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bryce Harper lobbed Philadelphia’s first recruiting pitch over the summer when the injured All-Star used a guest stint in the broadcast booth to advocate for the future free agent and his former Washington teammate. “Trea Turner, he’s my favorite player in the league,” Harper said. “Not even close.” Harper and Turner have […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

District to pay $5M over teen’s death at football practice

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (AP) — A Washington school district will pay $5.25 million to the family of a high school student who died from a heart attack that happened during a 2018 football practice. Allen Harris, 16, was participating in a conditioning practice on an “exceptionally hot” July 24 when he collapsed and suffered a […]
18 hours ago
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, left, listens to new manger Bruce Bochy after trying o...
Associated Press

Jacob deGrom sees Rangers’ vision for future, not past

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom sees the vision of what the Texas Rangers want to do, not their streak of six consecutive losing seasons and being more than a decade removed from their only World Series appearances. “The Rangers did a great job with constant communication and making me […]
18 hours ago
American pairs figure skaters Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier compete in the pairs' short program...
Associated Press

American team Knierim and Frazier eye Grand Prix Final gold

World champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier did nothing to harm their chances of becoming the first American pairs team to win the prestigious Grand Prix Final, turning in a brilliant short program Thursday in Turin, Italy. Knierim and Frazier trailed their biggest rivals, Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara of Japan, by less than half […]
2 days ago
FILE - Jan Blachowicz, right, reacts after knocking out Luke Rockhold during the second round of th...
Associated Press

UFC 282: Suddenly vacant light heavyweight belt at stake

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev have been waiting for their shot at the light heavyweight title, and neither expected it to come Saturday. They were supposed to compete in the co-main event of UFC 282 until champion Jiri Prochazka pulled out last month of his fight with second-ranked Glover Teixeira because […]
2 days ago
Terminator 2: Another Tokyo gold for laser-focused Aussie