Titmus not making world champs switch despite impressive form

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May 21 (Reuters) - Double Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus has no plans to reverse her decision not to compete at this year's world championships, despite going close to breaking Federica Pellegrini's world record in the 200m freestyle on Friday.

Titmus finished 0.33 seconds short of the long-standing mark when she won over the distance at the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide in her first competitive swim since the Olympic Games last August.

Her time of 1 minute 53.31 seconds was her fastest in the event and eclipsed the performance that won her gold at the distance in Tokyo.

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Despite her impressive swim, the Australian will remain focused on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July and August in an attempt to avoid burning out ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.

"I definitely didn't think I'd be swimming as fast as I am now," Titmus said.

"Initially, I didn't want to go to worlds because I didn't think I'd be ready to be mentally at that level to deal with the pressure again.

"I'll have another month at home and just keep training through. The decision was for Paris, to make sure I didn't have a stacked year again. So I'm sticking with that decision."

Pellegrini's world record in the event has stood since the 2009 world championships in Rome and was achieved during the supersuit era, when the use of polyurethane and neoprene swimwear saw times tumble.

Titmus's performance is the closest any swimmer has come to the mark since the suits were banned. The 21-year-old was delighted with her effort.

"I'm pretty happy with the swim. I didn't get back into proper training until December," said Titmus.

"I'm doing things in training that are better than before the Olympics; some things aren't there, but some are better.

"It's one of the more challenging world records. Her (Pellegrini's) back end in that race was insane. I think she had three suits on or something.

"To even be anywhere near that, I'm happy. It's not even 12 months since the Olympics and I swam faster there than I did to win the gold medal."

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Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Bradley Perrett

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