First-time Olympian Ariarne Titmus won gold in Tokyo — and no one was happier than her very animated coach Dean Boxall.
On Monday, Australian swimmer Titmus upset American Katie Ledecky in the women's 400m freestyle at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre during the Summer Games. Titmus, 20, was seen smiling and in shock as she looked at the screen to look at her time and first-place finish.
Meanwhile, in the stands, NBC cameras captured Boxall enjoying Titmus' victorious moment as much as she did when he was seen celebrating her gold medal win by ripping off his face mask, fist-pumping, screaming and shaking a clear barrier.
Over on the Australian broadcast, nine-time Olympic medalist-turned-commentator Ian Thorpe said Boxall is "the kind of guy who does wear his heart on his sleeve," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
When his student Titmus stood at top of the podium during the medal ceremony, Boxall was in tears.
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After her race, Titmus told reporters that her coach "means everything to me," the Herald reported. "We didn't discuss what I wanted to do in the pool. It was more of a have fun moment. We practiced this for so long. I just knew what I had to do when I got out there."
The athlete added, "It was actually hard to contain it. I could see Dean on the other side bawling his eyes out."
About her gold medal win, Titmus told reporters: "It is the biggest thing you can pull off in your sporting career, so I'm over the moon. I'm trying to contain it as much as I can. I have a big program ahead of me, but I can enjoy this afterwards."
For the past couple of years, Titmus has been a formidable opponent for Ledecky. At the 2019 world championships, Titmus defeated Ledecky in the 400m freestyle final as well. With her gold, Titmus remains the top performer in the world this year in the women's 400m freestyle event.
Speaking about Titmus after their race, Ledecky told reporters, "She definitely swam a really smart race. She was really controlled upfront. I felt smooth and strong. I looked up at 300m and she was right there so I knew it would be a battle to the end. I didn't feel like I died or really fell off. She just had a faster final 50m or 75m and got her hand to the wall first."
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