Teen prodigy smashes Commonwealth record
AUSTRALIA'S swim starlet Ariarne Titmus says a vow of silence has helped her set a Commonwealth record.
The self-confessed chatterbox deliberately kept quiet, and to herself, before Tuesday night's 200m freestyle final at the national titles in Adelaide.
The result: a time of one minute 54.30 seconds - more than half a second inside the previous Commonwealth benchmark.
"I feel like when I race, I perform when I'm really focused and don't really talk to anyone," the 18-year-old said.
"I'm usually known as quite a chatty person and it distracts. "I have to make sure if I want to race fast, that I try and internalise and become focused. And I did that pretty well tonight."
Titmus' breakout 2018 propelled her to the upper echelon of world freestylers.
She captured two Commonwealth Games gold medals - and a silver in the 200m freestyle when pipped by Canadian Taylor Ruck, who set a then-Commonwealth benchmark in victory.
But Titmus felt capable of eclipsing the record despite entering the nationals with just two days rest instead of a full taper.
"I'm swimming faster than I have ever have before so I feel like I had that in me," she said.
"Coming into the meet not rested, I'm not quite sure what my body is going to do, whether it's going to hold up.
"I just had to make sure I had my head on. I knew if I wanted to swim that quickly, it would all be mental."
Also Tuesday night, Mitch Larkin collected another national title in the 200m individual medley.
Larkin, two nights after winning the 100m backstroke, held off Matthew Wilson to win in a time just 0.6s outside his own Commonwealth record.
"I was surprised," Larkin said of his time.
"This meet, it's hard to predict what I was going to swim ... I'm happy with that."
Wilson earlier Tuesday night claimed his second national title, in the 100m breaststroke.
The New South Welshman's triumph came just 24 hours after setting a Commonwealth record in winning the 200m breaststroke.