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Ariarne Titmus' coach Dean Boxall has responded to the backlash he received for his incredible 'out-of-body' celebrations at the Tokyo Games.
Boxall produced arguably one of the most iconic moments of the Olympics when he was seen jumping up and down after watching Ariarne defeat favourite American Katie Ledecky to clinch 400m freestyle gold in emphatic fashion.
Boxall was swinging on the aquatic centre glass railings and roaring from the bottom of his lungs like a man possessed.
For most, his passionate poolside reaction was fantastic to see. But for others, they weren't too fond of it.
Boxall's actions were heavily criticised, mainly by American swimming fans, who were accusing him of trying to upstage Titmus.
Some even labelled his celebrations 'toxic', claiming that he was trying to 'bigfoot a female athlete'.
"That was just me," Boxall told 2GB. "The girl won, she beat the greatest. What am I meant to do? Sit down and have a cup of tea? Honestly. Please."
Boxall also admits he felt 'caged' after the outcry over his previous actions meant he was forced to watch his swimmer win 200m Olympic gold alongside the rest of the Australian team - rather than in a seperate area where he could be free to cheer her on.
"I felt more caged," he added.
"It was such a blow up. People telling me I was running up and down. I actually asked our Australian management if I could go across to the other side of the pool, and (they) could put me in a room, so I could watch this race and I can move or run.
"They said we can't do that. So I actually sat with the team and I felt caged. It was probably a bit of a disappointment for me that I couldn't be myself."
Titmus carved her name into the Olympic history books by defeated reigning world champion and record-holder Ledecky to win both the 200m and 400m races in Tokyo.
Both Titmus and her fan favourite coach were very emotional during the medal ceremony and even shed a tear each once Titmus had received her medal.
Their unbreakable bond and amazing relationship was clear for all to see and really set the tone for the rest of the Aussies in the pool.
"The 400m, we went in there as the underdog," Boxall added. "Even though we were ranked No. 1, Katie was still the Olympic champion and she had the world record time."
"Once that was finished we couldn't hide away from the 200m that we were No. 1, because Arnie swam an unbelievable swim at trials, that was 0.1s off the world record, and 1.2s faster than the next swimmer."
"We were going there as the hunted. It was a different pressure, you could feel it, and Arnie felt it."
Featured Image Credit: NBC
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