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. Swimmer will also race in the 400 free relay finals at the end of the session. For a recap of how this morning’s prelims session went, click here. Read on for a preview of a few of the exciting races to come.
RIKAKO IKEE CHASING JAPANESE RECORD IN 100 FLY
Japan’s Rikako Ikee has been heaving a great year. She’s the Japanese Record holder in this event after putting up a lifetime best 56.23 this season. This morning, she took down the 12-year-old Pan Pacs Record in this event and should challenge her Japanese Record tonight. Ikee already set the Japanese Record in the 200 free as she took silver earlier in the meet.
Ikee is the favorite going into the final, with the USA’s Kelsi Dahlia and Australia’s Emma McKeon being the 2 swimmers who are most likely to challenge her for gold. Dahlia, an Olympic gold medalist in the medley relay, was 2nd in prelims, while McKeon, the Australian Record holder, was 3rd. McKeon has the fastest best time of the 3 with her 56.18 from last summer’s Worlds.
ZANE GROTHE VS. MACK HORTON AND JACK MCLOUGHLIN IN MEN’S 400 FREE
Last season, the USA’s Zane Grothe became the top active American distance swimmer in the 400 free as he qualified for Worlds. He continued to turn heads in the 2017 yards season, breaking the American Records in the 500 yard free and 1650 yard free. Grothe wasn’t at his best in the 400 free at Nationals, but he’s already looking much better here. He had his 2nd fastest 400 free ever in prelims and dropped 12 seconds in the mile earlier in the meet to take silver. Grothe is looking for his first international gold, but Australia’s Mack Horton is the man to beat here. Horton, the reigning Olympic champion, was 3rd in prelims.
Australia’s Jack McLoughlin was just a couple of tenths behind Grothe in prelims. McLoughlin wasn’t at his best in the mile earlier on, but was already within a couple tenths of his best in this event this morning. Horton, Grothe, and McLoughlin are the medal favorites, but Grant Shoults of the U.S. is also looking good after his big drop at Nationals, where he took a narrow 2nd to Grothe.
YUI OHASHI GOING FOR WOMEN’S IM SWEEP
After dominating the 400 IM earlier in the meet, Yui Ohashi could make it an IM sweep if she brings home the 200 IM title. Ohashi is the Japanese Record holder in this event, the Worlds silver medalist, and the only woman in the final to have ever broken 2:08. The top qualifier after this morning, however, is teammate Miho Teramura, so Japan has a great shot at getting 2 on the podium.
Canada’s Sydney Pickrem is another medal favorite in this race, as well as team USA’s Melanie Margalis. Pickrem, the Worlds bronze medalist in the 400 IM, is coming off a great NCAA season and has already been sub-2:10 this year. Olympic medalist Margalis had a strong performance in the 400 IM to take silver and should be in the mix for another podium finish, especially if she can break 2:09 again. Margalis is currently the #2 American. The fastest American from Nationals, Kathleen Baker, won’t be in the final since she was behind both Margalis and Ella Eastin this morning.
Eastin, who came down with mono in the leadup to Nationals, is looking to take a Worlds spot. The #2 time is currently a 2:09.43 done by Margalis in Irvine. This morning, Eastin swam her lifetime best 2:10.25. She had great success in the NCAA season, smashing the American Records in both IM events, so she seems capable of making a big time drop if she’s feeling like she’s in better health now.
Catch live updates of these races and more on SwimSwam’s live recap.
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