SWIMMING Panorama: Ledecky sends a message with world-leading 3:59.28; Titmus sends back a 3:59.35

Freestyle superstar Katie Ledecky (USA)

They were swimming half a world apart, in Santa Clara, California and Brisbane, Australia, but it’s as if stars Kathie Ledecky (USA) and Ariarne Titmus (AUS) were swimming in consecutive heats in the same pool.

With Titmus leading the 2019 world list at 3:59.66, Ledecky won the 400 m Freestyle at the Santa Clara Invitational with a powerful 3:59.28 time to take the world lead. About 12 hours later, it was Titmus – still 18 years old – with her chance in the 400 m Free final of the Australia World Champs Trials. She won easily, finishing in 3:59.35 to stand second to Ledecky in 2019.

This is a busy weekend of swimming, just days after the FINA Champions Swim Series concluded and with the Tyr Pro Swim Series starting Wednesday in Clovis, California. At the same time:

Mare Nostrum I in Monaco:

The first of the three legs of this annual series has already produced three world-leading times:

Men/50 m Free: 21.31, Bruno Fratus (BRA)
Men/50 m Breast: 26.33, Felipe Lima (BRA)
Women/400 m Medley: 4:32.67, Katinka Hosszu (HUN)

Fratus was already the world leader at 21.47 at the Brazilian nationals in April, but lowered his mark by 0.16 in winning the shoot-out-style final. Lima took over the world lead from countryman Joao Luis Gomes, who swam 26.42 at the Brazil nationals.

Hosszu has been exceptional, with four wins: the 400 Medley on the first day, then the 200 m Fly (2:07.56), 100 m Back (1:00.22) and 200 Medley (2:09.19) on Sunday.

Michael Andrew of the U.S. won 100 m Back (53.84), in a season’s best (old, 53.98) and Japan’s world leader, Daiya Seto, won the 400 m Medley in the no. 2 time of the year of 4:10.30.

The complete results are here. The next stage is in Canet (FRA) on 11-12 June.

Santa Clara Invitational:

In addition to Ledecky’s world leader in the 400 m Free, Simone Manuel swam a season’s best in the 50 m Free in 24.34, moving her to no. 5 on the 2019 world list.

In Sunday’s finals, Katie Drabot (USA) won the 200 m Fly in 2:06.67, moving her to no. 3 on the year list, and American Katie McLaughlin won the 200 m Free in 1:56.48, placing her =5th for the year. Ledecky had the fastest prelim time of 1:56.65, but skipped the final.

The complete results are here.

Australia World Championships Trials:

Titmus’ mark in the 400 m Free has been the mos impressive performance so far. The Worlds Trials run from 9-14 June and the results site is here.