It was dubbed the race of the meet as Olympic Champion Katie Ledecky came up against the 18-year-old.

The last time the two met was during the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships with Ledecky coming away with gold in both 400m and 800m freestyle events. 

Ledecky, who is just 22, has 14 World Championship gold medals in her cabinet and has never lost a major 400m race internationally. 

So it was a big task for Titmus. 

Titmus started in lane five after posting 4:02.42 in the heats on Sunday morning, with Ledecky taking lane four.

The Tasmanian-born Titmus started off fast and shot out to the lead until Ledecky was able to pull into the lead. It was going to do down to the wire.

However, Titmus, who has quite a strong finish in the last 100m hunted down the American superstar in the last 50 before breaking the Oceania record in the process of winning gold.

Ledecky led by .62 seconds going into the last lap but had the slowest last 50 of the eight-woman field. 

"I feel pretty normal, it was just a swimming race," Titmus said after her win.

"There was no pressure really coming into this race. I just wanted to fight as hard as I could - in that last 50m I gave it everything.

"I knew I had to take it out hard to be with her. Her third 100m is still a lot better than mine but suddenly I felt something."

In the earlier race, both Emma McKeon and Brianna Throssell qualified for the finals for the 100m Butterfly.

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