2018 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Swimmers are getting ready for the 3rd finals session of the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan. We’ll see the races for the championship titles in the 400 free, 100 fly, and 200 IM individually tonight. Swimmers will also race in the 400 free relay finals at the end of the session. There are a few good races to look out for, but also keep in mind that the Americans are racing for Worlds spots tonight. The fastest 2 men and women from finals between this meet and U.S. Nationals will advance to Worlds in the individual races.
Olympic champion and World Record holder Katie Ledecky is going after her own Pan Pacs Record in the 400 free, while Ariarne Titmus looks to break the 4:00 barrier. We also have the Olympic champ in the 400 free with Mack Horton set to battle Zane Grothe and Jack McLoughlin. The Japanese women could pick up 2 gold with Rikako Ikee (100 fly) and Yui Ohashi (200 IM) as the favorites. Chase Kalisz and Kosuke Hagino will go head-to-head again in the 200 IM. Caeleb Dressel looks to earn his first Pan Pacs gold in the 100 fly.
WOMEN’S 400 FREE:
- Pan Pacs Record: 3:58.37, Katie Ledecky (USA), 2014
- GOLD: Katie Ledecky, USA, 3:58.50
- SILVER: Ariarne Titmus, AUS, 3:59.66
- BRONZE: Leah Smith, USA, 4:04.23
Katie Ledecky got it done again. She was under her own World Record pace through the 300, but fell off down the final stretch. Ledecky still nabbed the win in 3:58.50, just a bit off her own Pan Pacs Record, and she still owns all 10 of the 10 fastest performances in history.
In this final, Ledecky was pushed like she hasn’t been in awhile as Australia’s Ariarne Titmus had a very impressive swim. She took it out with Ledecky, something we don’t usually see, but had fallen off Ledecky’s pace by the 200 mark. Titmus started to pull back up a little bit on the final 100. She came as close as anyone has to beating Ledecky in a distance event in years, as Ledecky’s margin of victory this time was only a second. Titmus hit the wall in 3:59.66, becoming the 3rd woman to ever break 4:00. She’s now the 3rd fastest performer ever.
Olympic silver medalist Leah Smith, who has come close to breaking 4:00 herself, was a few seconds off her best to take bronze in 4:04.23. Smith is the 5th fastest performer in history with her 4:00.65 from 2016.
MEN’S 400 FREE:
- Pan Pacs Record: 3:41.83, Ian Thorpe (AUS), 1999
- GOLD: Jack McLoughlin, AUS, 3:44.20
- SILVER: Mack Horton, AUS, 3:44.31
- BRONZE: Zane Grothe, USA, 3:45.37
Australia’s distance swimmers had a great showing tonight. Jack McLoughlin took it out under World Record pace as he established a big lead early on. Zane Grothe and Mack Horton battle closely behind him through the front half, but Horton broke away to try and run down McLoughlin in the final 100. Horton nearly closed the gap, but McLoughlin held on with a lifetime best 3:44.20 to win it. Horton was narrowly behind in 3:44.31, while Grothe took bronze in 3:45.37. That was a best by a second for McLoughlin, who swam his former best at the Commonwealth Games
The USA’s Grant Shoults is safe for the 2nd American Worlds spot. He was 4th tonight in 3:48.27. Olympian Conor Dwyer won the B final, but couldn’t match Shoults’ Nationals time as he hit the wall in 3:48.45. Dwyer is a 2-time Olympic finalist in the 400 free, but has put more emphasis on his 100 and 200 free during this first half of the quad.
WOMEN’S 100 FLY:
- GOLD: Rikako Ikee, JPN, 56.08
- SILVER: Kelsi Dahlia, USA, 56.44
- BRONZE: Emma McKeon, AUS, 56.54
Japan’s Rikako Ikee shot off the blocks to the early lead, under World Record pace at the halfway mark. She fell off the pace on the back half, but came very close to becoming the 3rd woman ever under 56. Ikee touched the wall in 56.08 for gold, breaking the Pan Pacs Record and Japanese Record. She’s now the 4th fastest performer in history, moving one slot ahead of Australia’s Emma McKeon.
Team USA’s Kelsi Dahlia used a big underwater to close the gap off the turn, but Ikee had the momentum to hang on as Dahlia took the silver in 56.44. That was enough for Dahlia to clip Australian Olympic medalist McKeon (56.54) and was just 7 hundredths shy of Dahlia’s best time.
Katie McLaughlin got out in front of the B heat. It looked like Regan Smith would challenge off the turn, but McLaughlin pulled ahead a bit more down the stretch, winning in 57.80 to Smith’s 58.62. That was McLaughlin’s 2nd fastest swim ever behind her 57.51 from Nationals, and she’s safe to make Worlds in this event. Mallory Comerford swam a 58.25 to take 5th in the final.
MEN’S 100 FLY:
- Pan Pacs Record:
50.86, Michael Phelps (USA), 2010
- GOLD: Caeleb Dressel, USA, 50.75
- SILVER: Jack Conger, USA, 51.32
- BRONZE: Vini Lanza, BRA, 51.44
The USA’s Caeleb Dressel was out a hundredths under World Record pace to establish the early lead. Though he fell off the pace down the stretch, Dressel came through with the win on the back half, touching 1st by half a second in 50.75. That broke the former Pan Pacs Record set by Michael Phelps in 50.86 at 2010 Pan Pacs.
Teammate Jack Conger secured the 1-2 finish, taking a few tenths off his prelims time for silver in 51.32. Conger just out-touched Brazil’s Vini Lanza, who was 2 hundredths shy of his lifetime best in 51.44 for bronze. Narrowly off the podium was Australia’s Grant Irvine in 51.65.
Michael Andrew clipped his best from the B heat, topping the field in 51.55. Andrew’s 50 speed was on full display last summer, but this summer he’s really stepped it up in his 100s. The Americans going to Worlds in this event, however, are Dressel and Conger. Conger has actually been faster this year in season with his 51.00 from the Atlanta Pro Swim.
WOMEN’S 200 IM:
- GOLD: Yui Ohashi, JPN, 2:08.16
- SILVER: Sydney Pickrem, CAN, 2:09.07
- BRONZE: Miho Teramura, JPN, 2:09.86
Yui Ohashi topped the field by a second to sweep the IMs for Japan. Ohashi built a big lead through the back leg. Canada’s Sydney Pickrem tried to make up some ground on the breast leg, but Ohashi was too far ahead as she won in 2:08.16. That demolished the Pan Pacs Record set by teammate Miho Teramura in prelims and was just a couple of tenths shy of Ohashi’s Japanese Record. Teramura was a few tenths shy of her prelims time in 2:09.86, taking bronze behind Pickrem. Hitting the wall for silver in 2:09.07, Pickrem clipped her own Canadian Record.
The USA’s Ella Eastin was just hundredths shy of the podium in 2:09.90, topping teammate Melanie Margalis (2:10.67). Eastin, who has been recovering from mono, broke 2:10 for the first time to become the 10th fastest American ever. However, Olympic medalist Margalis will take the 2nd Worlds spot behind Kathleen Baker, since Margalis swam a 2:09.43 in finals at Nationals. Baker, the 2nd fastest American ever with her Nationals time, was slated to swim the B final tonight but opted out. Japan’s Sakiko Shimizu, who took bronze in the 400 IM here behind Margalis, dominated the B heat tonight in 2:12.06.
MEN’S 200 IM:
- Pan Pacs Record: 1:54.43, Ryan Lochte (USA), 2010
- GOLD: Chase Kalisz, USA, 1:55.40
- SILVER: Mitch Larkin, AUS, 1:56.21
- BRONZE: Kosuke Hagino, JPN, 1:56.66
As usual, the USA’s Chase Kalisz crushed it on the back half. He took off on the breast leg, winning by almost a second in 1:55.40. That was a best by almost 2 tenths, making him the 6th fastest performer in history. He’s the 4th fastest American ever behind only Olympians Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Eric Shanteau.
Australia’s Mitch Larkin turned heads with his silver medal performance. Larkin ran down Japan’s Olympic 400 IM champ Kosuke Hagino on the last lap, out-touching Hagino 1:56.21 to 1:56.66. That was a huge swim for Larkin, breaking the Australian Record and Commonwealth Record. He dropped over a second off his best time and is now 2 tenths shy of breaking into the all time top 10 performers.
Japan’s Daiya Seto, who took bronze in the 400 IM at this meet, was just off the podium at 4th in 1:57.36, holding off the USA’s Abrahm Devine down the stretch. DeVine officially secured his Worlds spot to take 5th in 1:57.81.
WOMEN’S 400 FREE RELAY:
- Pan Pacs Record:
3:32.36, AUS, 2014
- GOLD: AUS, 3:31.58
- SILVER: USA, 3:33.45
- BRONZE: CAN, 3:34.07
Taylor Ruck got Canada off to the lead with her 52.85 split, while Kayla Sanchez maintained it in 53.11 on the 2nd leg. Australia and the USA pulled even on the 3rd leg with Emma McKeon (52.56) and Kelsi Dahlia (53.59) respectively. Cate Campbell blew away the field with a 51.36 anchor leg to clinch the win for the Aussies in a new Pan Pacs Record of 3:31.58. Olympic champ Simone Manuel anchored for the U.S. in 52.79.
MEN’S 400 FREE RELAY:
- Pan Pacs Record: 3:11.74, USA, 2010
- GOLD: BRA, 3:12.02
- SILVER: AUS, 3:12.53
- BRONZE: JPN, 3:12.54
The USA’s Caeleb Dressel (48.76) flipped with the lead on the front half of the leadoff leg, but faded on the back half of his split as Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura led the way through the first leg in 48.52. Brazil started to make big moves with Marcelo Chierighini‘s 47.62 on the 2nd leg to take the lead, while the U.S. pulled into 2nd with Blake Pieroni‘s 47.92.
Zach Apple split a 47.72 on the 3rd leg to pull the U.S. ahead of Brazil, but Japan regained a slight lead with Katsuhiro Matsumoto‘s 47.61. Nathan Adrian dove in for the anchor leg, building a big lead for the USA on his first 50. Brazil’s Pedro Spajari blasted a 46.94 anchor split to nearly catch up to him as he closed the gap on the 2nd 50, but Adrian’s 47.27 split was enough to secure the gold for the U.S. in a new Pan Pacs Record time of 3:11.67. Australia finished 3rd with 100 free champ Kyle Chalmers anchoring in 47.50.
UPDATE: The Americans were disqualified for swimming out of order, moving Brazil up to gold, Australia to silver and Japan to bronze. Apple swam second and Pieroni swam third, but they were supposed to swim Pieroni and then Apple. The U.S. splits prior to the DQ:
- Dressel – 48.76
- Apple – 47.92
- Pieroni – 47.72
- Adrian – 47.27
Read more on the DQ here.
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