TOKYO — Ariarne Titmus has beaten Katie Ledecky again at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. In fact, Ledecky didn’t even win a medal — the first time that’s ever happened to her at the Olympics.
The Terminator gave the Australian women their third individual swimming gold of these games with a victory in the 200-meter freestyle Wednesday.
Titmus set an Olympic record of 1 minute, 53.50 seconds to make it 2-for-2 against the American star, following up a thrilling victory in the 400 free.
In the longer race, Titmus conserved her energy over the first half of the race, then rallied to pass Ledecky with the second-fastest performance in history.
Ledecky wasn’t even close in the 200, making the first flip in seventh place and never getting higher than her fifth-place showing at the end. The defending Olympic champion finished in 1:55.21 — nearly 2 seconds behind the winner.
It marks the first time Ledecky finished outside the top two in an event in her Olympic career.
Ledecky faced a grueling morning that also included the final of the 1,500 free. She was a big favorite for gold in that race, which is new to the women’s program this year, giving her a chance to quickly make up for the disappointment of the worst Olympic showing of her career.
Siobahn Haughey of Hong Kong led much of the race before hanging on to take the silver in 1:53.92. The bronze went to Canada’s Penny Oleksiak in 1:54.70.
Italy’s Federica Pellegrini of Italy finished seventh in her fifth and final Olympics. She won the gold in 2008 and is still the world-record holder.
There were no surprises in the men’s 200 butterfly, with Kristof Milak of Hungary romping to a dominating victory.
Milak won the the gold by about two body lengths, backing up his status as one of the biggest favorites at the Olympic pool.
He touched in an Olympic record of 1:51.25 _ some 2 1/2 seconds ahead of the silver medalist, Japan’s Tomoru Honda, who finished in 1:53.73.
The bronze went to Italy’s Federico Burdisso in 1:54.45.
South African star Chad le Clos finished fifth. He won the 200 fly at the 2012 London Olympics, upsetting Michael Phelps, but was no match for the Hungarian star.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.