Olympics-Australian swimmer Titmus in 'hibernation from life' before Paris

FILE PHOTO: Fukuoka 2023 World Aquatics Championships - Swimming - Marine Messe Fukuoka Hall A, Fukuoka, Japan - July 26, 2023 Australia's Ariarne Titmus in action during the women's 200m freestyle final REUTERS/Marko Djurica/File Photo

(Reuters) - Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus is in "hibernation from life" outside of swimming as she readies to defend her 200 and 400 metres freestyle titles at the Paris Games.

Titmus has emerged from her punishing training regime this week to compete at her home Australian Open Championships on the Gold Coast and get a measure of her progress.

"Basically I am in hibernation from life other than swimming," she told Australian media.

"That is what I'm saying to friends that I just forget to text back.

"Basically (I'm) on double (session) days, I'm at the pool for 10 hours, that’s not just swimming but all-consuming gym, bike, physio, massage.

"Basically doing everything you can. Your body is a vehicle and you’re trying to make it the most high-performing vehicle possible.

"This is the most important time."

Titmus claimed the 800m freestyle title at the meeting on Wednesday in a modest time of eight minutes, 17.80 seconds. She is a medal chance in the event expected to be dominated by American champion and world record holder Katie Ledecky.

The Australian is stronger in the 400m, holding the world record (3:55.38), but she has yet to post a fast time this year.

Titmus said she was once a "massive swimming nerd" who would keep track of every meet and all the time splits.

She is less interested in what her rivals are up to now.

"I will probably look at what the girls do, but it can’t change anything I am doing," she said.

"It can maybe add a little bit of fuel to the fire but I know I am doing the best I can and can only control what I am doing and hopefully that is good enough to swim really well."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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