Australia and the United States Win Three Golds On Second Night of Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo

Photos Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

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The second finals session of the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo saw some favorites live up to the billing as well as some upsets. Australia won three gold medals with Cate CampbellKyle Chalmers and their women’s 4×200 free relay.

The Americans had gold medals from Hali FlickingerRyan Murphy and the men’s 4×200 free relay.

Canada also picked up a gold from Kylie Masse and Japan got a gold from Daiya Seto.


Women’s 100 Free

The second night of swimming at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo got off to a flying start. Australia’s Cate Campbell seems reborn after a disappointing Rio Olympics and sitting out the 2017 World Championships. Campbell has since lost her world record she set before the Olympics two years ago, but swam the second fastest time ever in the 100 free on Friday night in Tokyo.

Campbell swam a 52.03 in the 100 free final to sit second all-time in the world rankings behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom.

Campbell was the class of the field finishing ahead of reigning World and Olympic Champion in American Simone Manuel (52.66). Canada’s young hot shot Taylor Ruck (52.72) finished with the bronze. Ruck moved to sixth in the world and eleventh all-time with her swim.

The rest of the field was pretty stacked as young stars Mallory Comerford (52.94) and Rikako Ikee (53.14) finished off the podium in the final. Comerford put herself in the top eight in the world with that swim, despite not getting on the medal stand.

Canada’s Kayla Sanchez (53.68), Australia’s Shayna Jack (53.74) and Brazil’s Larissa Oliveira (54.78) also swam in the final.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Cate Campbell, AUS, 52.03
  2. Bronte Campbell, AUS, 52.27
  3. Simone Manuel, USA, 52.54
  4. Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 52.67
  5. Pernille Blume, DEN, 52.72
  6. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 52.72
  7. Charlotte Bonnet, FRA, 52.74
  8. Mallory Comerford, USA, 52.94

All-Time Rankings

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 51.71 (2017)
  2. Cate Campbell, AUS, 52.03 (2018)
  3. Britta Steffen, GER, 52.07 (2009)
  4. Simone Manuel, USA, 52.27 (2017)
  5. Bronte Campbell, AUS, 52.27 (2018)
  6. Mallory Comerford, USA, 52.59 (2017)
  7. Libby Trickett, AUS, 52.62 (2009)
  8. Femke Heemskerk, NED, 52.69 (2015)

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Men’s 100 Free

Australia clearly came to play on the second night of action at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo. Cate Campbell got the night started with a gold in the 100 free and Kyle Chalmers continued that momentum with a gold of his own in the 100 free at 48.00.

Chalmers led a 1-2 finished with Australian teammate Jack Cartwright, who tied for second with American superstar Caeleb Dressel at 48.22.

Cartwright has been a rising young star in Australia and is showing what he was capable of as a junior swimmer. Cartwright picked up his first individual international medal.

Dressel finished over a second off his time from last year at the World Championships as the American settled for silver in a tie with Cartwright.

Dressel will have a chance to defend his title at World Championships next year as Blake Pieroni (48.08) has been the only American faster this year. In fact, Pieroni won the B-Final with a 48.21, which would have won the silver medal. This also means Nathan Adrian will not swim in the 100 free at a major meet for the first time since the 2008 Olympics. Adrian was second in the B-Final at 48.32.

Zach Apple had a slower finals swim after he was a 48.03 this morning. He finished in fifth at 48.47 behind Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini (48.36).

Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (48.49), Brazil’s Pedro Spajari (48.51) and Japan’s Shinri Shioura (48.68) also competed in the final.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Vladimir Morozov, RUS, 47.75
  2. Katsumi Nakamura, JPN, 47.87
  3. Pedro Spajari, BRA, 47.95
  4. Gabriel Silva, BRA, 47.98
  5. Kyle Chalmers, AUS, 48.00
  6. Oussama Sahnoune, ALG, 48.00
  7. Alessandro Miressi, ITA, 48.01
  8. Duncan Scott, GBR, 48.02

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Women’s 200 Fly

American Hali Flickinger was slightly off her incredible 2:05 from the US Nationals a couple weeks ago, but it was good enough for the win as the 24-year-old won the 200 fly final at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships with a 2:07.35. Flickinger held off a hard charging Sachi Mochida in the final as the 19-year-old Japanese swimmers finished second at 2:07.66 in front of her home crowd.

The other American in the final was Katie Drabot who fell off pace a little bit the last 50 and finished with a bronze medal at 2:08.40. Both Flickinger and Drabot will get to represent Team USA again at the 2019 World Championships next year in South Korea.

Japan’s Suzuka Hasegawa (2:08.70) and Australia’s Laura Taylor (2:09.23) charged late but could not get on the podium with their swims.

Canada’s Mabel Zavaros (2:09.95), Danielle Hanus (2:11.34) and the Philippines’ Rosalee Santa Ana (2:22.69) also competed in the final.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Alys Thomas, GBR, 2:05.45
  2. Hali Flickinger, USA, 2:05.87
  3. Laura Taylor, AUS, 2:06.80
  4. Mireia Belmonte, ESP, 2:07.09
  5. Boglarka Kapas, HUN, 2:07.13
  6. Katie Drabot, USA, 2:07.18
  7. Franziska Hentke, GER, 2:07.21
  8. Svetlana Chimrova, RUS, 2:07.33

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Men’s 200 Fly

One of Japan’s biggest stars in the sport of swimming, Daiya Seto, pleased the Tokyo crowd on Friday night with a gold medal in the 200 fly final. Seto took it out hard and held off a strong push from the field as Seto won the gold with a 1:54.34.

Seto was off his best time of 1:54.03 from last year’s World Championships.

Seto was one of two swimmers under 1:55 in the final as Brazil’s Leonardo De Deus finished with the silver medal at 1:54.89. It is not a Brazilian Record for the veteran but he looked rather happy with that medal, celebrating on the lane line.

American Zach Harting finished with the bronze medal after being in last place at the 100, and seventh at the 150. Harting had an incredible finish as he finished in third at 1:55.05, his best time. He lowered his 1:55.11 from Nationals and he will represent Team USA next summer at World Championships in that event, joining Justin Wright thanks to his swim at Nationals.

The other American in the final was Jack Conger, who faded badly over the second half and finished seventh at 1:56.83. He will not swim next summer at Worlds in this event despite being faster than Wright from the B-Final (1:57.27).

Australia’s David Morgan (1:55.82), Canada’s Mack Darragh (1:56.27), Japan’s Yuya Yajima (1:56.33) and New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt (1:57.37) also competed in the A-Final.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Kristof Milak, HUN, 1:52.71
  2. Nao Horomura, JPN, 1:53.79
  3. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 1:54.00
  4. Tamas Kenderesi, HUN, 1:54.14
  5. Daiya Seto, JPN, 1:54.34
  6. Justin Wright, USA, 1:54.63
  7. Yuya Yajima, JPN, 1:54.72
  8. Leonardo De Deus, BRA, 1:54.89

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Women’s 100 Back

The women’s 100 back, like the men’s 400 IM, was one of the most hyped races of the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. The three fastest swimmers in the world for the year, Kathleen Baker of the United States, Kylie Masse of Canada, and two-time defending Pan Pac champion Emily Seebohm of Australia, were all facing one another in the final. Young stars Regan Smith of the United States and Kaylee McKeown of Australia were also in the final and could steal a medal.

Baker (1st), Masse (2nd) and Seebohm (5th) are also all in the top eight all-time in the event, so surely it would take a world record to win the gold medal. Could we see someone go a 57 for the first time ever?

But also like the men’s 400 IM, the swimmers in the final swam slower than expected. Baker broke the world record at the US Nationals with a 58.00, but it was Masse on top in Tokyo with a 58.61, despite swimming faster in the heats at 58.29.

Masse won the gold while Seebohm got the silver at 58.72 and Baker got the bronze at 58.83.

Smith finished in fourth at 58.95 but it was not good enough to get a World Championship spot in that event. Olivia Smoliga was a 58.75 at Nationals and that will get the spot behind Baker for Gwangju next year. Smoliga won the B-Final tonight at 59.20.

McKeown (59.25) and Japan’s Natsumi Sakai (59.33) also broke a minute in the final. McKeown moved up to ninth in the world rankings with her swim.

Canada’s Kennedy Goss (1:00.90) finished in seventh while Japan’s Anna Konishi was disqualified.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Kathleen Baker, USA, 58.00
  2. Kylie Masse, CAN, 58.54
  3. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 58.66
  4. Olivia Smoliga, USA, 58.75
  5. Regan Smith, USA, 58.83
  6. Taylor Ruck, CAN, 58.97
  7. Phoebe Bacon, USA, 59.12
  8. Anastasia Fesikova, RUS, 59.19


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Men’s 100 Back

Ryan Murphy was out under world record pace in the 100 back final on Friday night at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo. Murphy holds that world record from when he led off the 4×100 medley relay in Rio two years ago. Murphy could not quite hold on for a best time, but finished in a 51.94, not far off his 51.85 world record.

It is the third fastest time in the 100 back of all-time, tying Aaron Peirsol’s former world record from 2009. Murphy is now the first swimmer to break 52 seconds more than once. Murphy is now over half a second ahead of the rest of the world this year, including second place Kliment Kolesnikov of Russia.

Murphy was well in front of the rest of the field as Japan’s Ryosuke Irie finished with the silver at 52.78 in front of his home crowd.

Australia’s Mitch Larkin (52.88) was back on the podium at a major meet in the 100 back after missing it the last two years. Larkin swam faster here in Tokyo than he did to win the Commonwealth Games in April, a promising sign for the now 25-year-old.

Irie and Larkin moved up in the world rankings this year to sixth and seventh respectively.

American veteran Matt Grevers finished off the podium in a surprising fourth. The time wasn’t bad for the gentle giant, as he had a 52.99. Grevers will keep his spot on the World Championship team for next year as he was a 52.55 at Nationals last month.

Michael Andrew won the B-Final at 53.55 ahead of Justin Ress at 53.59.

Canada’s Javier Acevedo (53.90) and Markus Thormeyer (54.02) finished in fifth and sixth.

Japan’s Masaki Kaneko (54.33) and Australia’s Bradley Woodward (54.34) finished in seventh and eighth.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Ryan Murphy, USA, 51.94
  2. Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS, 52.53
  3. Matt Grevers, USA, 52.55
  4. Evgeny Rylov, RUS, 52.67
  5. Xu Jiayu, CHN, 52.72
  6. Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 52.78
  7. Mitch Larkin, AUS, 52.88
  8. Justin Ress, USA, 53.26


Women’s 4×200 Free Relay

Australia got off to a fast start. The United States did not. At the halfway point, the Australians were under world record pace and the Americans were in last. It was slightly misleading because Canada and Japan put their best swimmers in the second spot while Australians led off with their best two, leaving the Americans with their best swimmer on the anchor leg.

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus (1:55.27) and Emma McKeon (1:55.66) put Australia in great position up front, leaving the rest of the field to try and catch up. The Americans almost did with Katie Ledecky charging home at 1:53.84, but it was not enough as anchor leg Maddie Groves (1:56.47) held on to give Australia its third gold medal of the night at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo.

Ledecky has been faster in a relay, going 1:53.74 to anchor Team USA in Rio two years ago. It is still one of the fastest splits of all-time, not far behind the quickest ever in Federica Pellegrini’s 1:53.45 from 2009.

Titmus, McKeon, Mikkayla Sheridan (1:56.72) and Groves took home the gold medal at 7:44.12, breaking the meet record from 2014 set by the Americans.

The United States was second with Allison Schmitt (1:58.62), Leah Smith (1:56.44), Katie McLaughlin (1:55.47) and Ledecky at 7:44.37.

Canada’s Kayla Sanchez (1:58.37), Taylor Ruck (1:54.08), Rebecca Smith (1:58.08) and Mackenzie Padington (1:56.75) finished with the bronze at 7:47.28.

Japan put up a good fight for fourth at 7:48.96 for a new Japanese record, lowering their 7:50.43 from last year’s Worlds. Rikako Ikee notably split a 1:54.69 on their relay.

The top four teams would have finished well ahead of everyone at the European Championships earlier this week as Great Britain won that title with a 7:51.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Australia, 7:44.12
  2. United States, 7:44.37
  3. Canada, 7:47.28
  4. Japan, 7:48.96
  5. Great Britain, 7:51.65
  6. Russia, 7:52.87
  7. Germany, 7:53.76
  8. France, 7:53.86

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Men’s 4×200 Free Relay

It was almost a mirror image of the women’s 4×200 free relay earlier in the night. Australia had the lead on the United States and it was up to the American anchor to try and catch the Australians over the last 200. Katie Ledecky could not quite catch Maddie Groves in the women’s relay. But in the men’s relay, Townley Haas successfully swam down Jack Cartwright of Australia and the United States won its first relay gold medal of the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo.

The Americans won the gold medal in 7:04.36 with Andrew Seliskar (1:46.75), Blake Pieroni (1:47.63), Zach Apple (1:46.20) and Haas (1:43.78). The Australians put up a valiant effort in second as they got the silver with Clyde Lewis (1:46.54), Kyle Chalmers (1:46.73), Alexander Graham (1:45.91) and Jack Cartwright (1:45.52) at 7:04.70.

Haas’s split is one of the fastest all-time. Sun Yang has been a 1:43.16 and Yannick Agnel has been a 1:43.24. Based off of a quick internet search, Haas is roughly third all-time in splits with his 1:43.78, moving ahead of James Guy’s 1:43.80 from last year.

Japan was a distant third at 7:08.07 with Naito Ehara (1:47.28), Reo Sakata (1:47.07), Yuki Kobori (1:48.41) and Katsuhiro Matsumoto (1:45.31).

Brazil (7:11.65) and Canada (7:18.25) also competed in the final.

Both the United States and Australia beat Great Britain’s winning time from Europeans earlier this week.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. United States, 7:04.36
  2. Australia, 7:04.70
  3. Great Britain, 7:05.32
  4. Russia, 7:06.66
  5. Italy, 7:07.58
  6. Japan, 7:08.07
  7. Germany, 7:09.31
  8. Brazil, 7:11.65

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