Ariane Titmus swimming underdog after surrendering 400 metres world record

Ariarne Titmus has queried teen rival Summer McIntosh’s big-stage credentials as she begrudgingly embraces the underdog tag for their swimming world championships showdown.

The Olympic champion whipped through Tuesday night’s 400m freestyle final in 3:58.47 in the Australian trials at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre ahead of next month’s meet in Japan.

The 22-year-old lost her world record to 16-year-old McIntosh in March and will face the Canadian, along with American superstar Katie Ledecky, in Fukuoka.

“On paper I’d say I’m still Olympic champ going in,” Titmus told reporters.

“I feel like Katie, Summer and I are quite even going in, to be honest.

“I mean, I like going in with the underdog narrative. I like when you can kind of pounce, I guess.

“But I feel like with the experience that Katie has had, and with what I have had, I feel like we have had more experience than Summer racing with the pressure.

“I feel like Summer hasn’t really had that experience yet, racing on the international stage with the big pressure, so it’ll be interesting to see how she goes.

“But props to her if she goes in as the favourite.”

Titmus set a world record of 3:56.40 on May 22 last year at the nationals in Adelaide.

She skipped last year’s world championships to focus on the Commonwealth Games, where she saw off McIntosh.

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