2018 Pan Pacific Para Championships Kick Off Thursday in Cairns

2018 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships

While the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships are happening this weekend in Tokyo, a similar, but wholly separate, Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships will be going on in Cairns, Australia, on the country’s northeastern coast.

With many of the same nations in play as Pan Pacs, the meet will bring together a number of World Record holders. There will be no international classifications done at the meet, and only swimmers with current international classifications will be eligible for medals, or have their times submitted to World Para-Swimming.

Competition Notes:

  • Prelims will be raced as multi-class events, but in finals, swimmers will be split out by class.
  • Medals will be awarded by class, not based on multi-class finishes.
  • Finals will be conducted in all events proposed to be swum at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
  • A swimmer must place in the top eight (8) in their class during preliminaries to advance to the final.
  • Only three swimmers per country may progress to the final.
  • Competitors in events that are not on the eligible event list for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games can swim during the multi-class preliminary sessions and only progress to finals if they swim up one class and qualify in a Paralympic event class.
  • In the case that an event is completed by only three (3) or fewer swimmer’s medals will be awarded following the “minus one rule”

Among the biggest names in attendance will be Aurelie Rivard from Canada, an S10 swimmer who has already broken the World Record in the 200 free this season. She’ll be challenged in the S10 class by New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe.

The Americans will be led by a powerful group of female swimmers including Jessica Long (S8) and Becca Meyers (S12), who have combined for 29 Paralympic medals.

Links to the live stream are above. On each of the meet’s 5 days, prelims will begin at 10AM and finals will begin at 5PM.

By Timezone:

  • US Eastern Time – 8PM prelims/3AM finals
  • Tokyo time – 9AM prelims/4PM finals


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An explanation from IPC/WPS explaining why there is no classification scheduled at one of their major International Championships certainly wouldn’t go a miss here!


Good luck to the paraswimmers this week but I still have a minor issue which is this:

When are the Aussies going to participate in the reclassification of their athletes under the new system? Some might accuse them of gaining an unfair advantage by delaying their participation until next year just because there is a loophole that allows this. All the other countries have sent their swimmers to meets at great cost to try and comply. I know its not really an issue for amputees and dwarves but there is a certain category of swimmers who really should be looked at before competing for medals.


I don’t know much about para swimming but is it possible they should compete against able bodied athletes instead ? The ones you are referring to I mean.


A few of them, yes, absolutely. And that would be the end of their swimming careers.


What athletes are you and Verram referring to? I havent watched para swimming in years, its hard to tell who might be playing the system without following it very closely I feel


I’ve just asked a similar question – why is there no classification at this major competition? It’s very controversial and has given the Australians an unfair advantage over other nations. Sidestepping classification is nothing to celebrate nor to be proud of.


The choice to host classification would rest with Australia. I was told in the past that the travel cost of classification is paid by the host and it is a large budget item of $40000 plus. So cost could be a factor but the travel cost of sending athletes out of the country to get classified is also quite high. It really appears to come down to the aussies making no effort to participate. It’s their second major international meet this year and they are considered a top swim nation so it just looks bad as if they think the issue with LP will be forgotten.


LP would receive more than that in funding and sponsorships in a year. A lot more.
And they are sending a team to Japan next month just for the heck of it. That would not be cheap.
They sent 2 swimmers to the UK and 3 to Berlin to be classified – obviously could see medals, money and jobs in those particular swimmers. I really cannot see that the budget argument would stand up. Purely and simply, they want to hang on to their dodgy swimmers for as long as possible. These are the Australians- medals, money and jobs over integrity and at any cost.


And another scenario may be that the IPC are enabling this stalling by Australia because they need time to figure out how the hell they are going to get out of the massive green and gold hole they have dug for themselves without losing more face than they already have- which is a lot.


I agree and LP isn’t the only one that is dodging classification. Katherine Downie is too another athlete on the AUS team list that is no better. She has continually been ducking classification and is another athlete with mounting evidence of IM. The recent photos and video from Commonwealth Games and hopefully Pan Pacific Championshiops will further prove the case against Downie who for some reason continullay goes under the radar and protected by team AUS.


I think the point you are missing here Karen is that it is not individuals who are ducking and dodging classification but the Australian NGB which is obviously stalling classification for all its swimmers. It is not something that an individual swimmer has any control over. In Downie’s case I have just watched footage from Commonwealth Games and a few other meets. Her alleged impairment is right hemiplegic cerebral palsy. If you look closely she does in fact have some minor atrophy in her right leg compared to her left, she walks with a mildly spastic hemiplegic gait, and if you examine underwater footage of her breaststroke in particular there is a very clear right leg impairment. I do not… Read more »


Who are the ones you think are rorting the system Fred?


Brilliantly stated and you are 100% correct with your comments Fred.
Join the discussion…


Karen I agree with you regarding LP, however, I totally disagree with you regarding Katherine Downie. I have watched and witnessed Downie at several swim meets over the last two years, and she is a genuine S10 swimmer. However I have witnessed and observed several other high profile Australian Para-swimmers over the last two years, who are NOT genuine S10/S9/and S8 swimmers. Sadly it’s those disingenuous and unethical swimmers that have damaged and continue to bring Para-swimming into disrepute.
Join the discussion…


But why would the IPC approve an NGB to host a major International competition without providing classification? Don’t the results from IPC approved competitions form the basis for future team selections? It doesn’t make sense for the IPC to compromise their own competitions in this manner. I’d like to hear an explanation from them. I do agree it’s poor form by Australia and that it looks like they are attempting to dodge reclassification as long as possible. Not the best sportsmanship.


Because Para Pan Pacs is not a major International competition – it’s convenience meet for nations who don’t attend Europeans or (generally) Asian Games. It’s sanctioned by WPS but it’s not their meet. WPS has no interest in Pan Pacs and has not seen fit to name classification panels at the meet. Europeans on the other hand will require classification for European Championships and, if you loo at the master list and follow the classification outcomes in the world this year, you can see that European Nations have been allocated the lion’s share of the limited classification appointments in the world this year. Likewise Para Swimming at Commonwealth Games is not a major championships – the event program is extremely… Read more »


Thank you BobC. Can I ask if you are commenting from WPS? If you are, why isn’t Para Pan Pacs considered a major international meet? It is the equivalent of Pan Pacs for the region, which is a major meet. Why was there classification at the Rose Bowl in 2014 if WPS isn’t interested in Para Pan Pacs? If you’re not from WPS/IPC, I’d really like to hear the reason from them rather than risk muddying the waters with statements like ‘they aren’t interested’. I don’t think that it could possibly be true that WPS is only interested in European and Asian Championships. They are an international federation and so surely must have to provide a competition schedule for all… Read more »


I don’t represent WPS. International classification used to be offered at many events – that stopped with the introduction of the World Series Events. Classification is a significant driver for attendance at these events. Pan PaCs didn’t originate inside WPS, it’s formation was the result of an ad hoc agreement between nations that lacked an off cycle international racing opportunity. It really doesn’t get any more complicated than that. The classification opportunity schedule was essentially fixed late in 2017 with the two test events in Nicaragua & Kenya, the World Series, Europeans & Asian Games. Oh and CPISRA World Games which is an interesting outlier I won’t speculate about but sufficeth to say that CPISRA is a member of the… Read more »


Thank you BobC. There is quite a bit of difference between ‘fretting’ and seeking clarity and transparency regarding the reasons behind why classification was either not offered by WPS and/or Australia couldn’t pay the bill. It needn’t be shrouded in secrecy. You have suggested that this meet isn’t one we should get too excited about anyway, because no one is interested. An odd thing to say really when clearly there is interest not only in the competition but also in finding out when the Australians are going to do the decent thing and present for classification. A major international competition on home soil would seem to have been the perfect opportunity. I disagree with you and believe that Pan Pacs… Read more »


BOBC as for cp world games I was informed during my daughters Classification in Sheffield that out of the 160 swimmers around 15/20 would be classified. This means that the other swimmers are swimming at an event outside their country with no IPC classification status. So no times can be recorded or used, the event was sold to many swimmers from the U.K. as a way to gain IPC status and the cost of Classification was included in the England team costings. GB swimming who had to arrange the Classification slots for all the U.K. teams entering managed to only get 3 out of about 50 U.K. based swimmers and shock no Aussie swimmers got Classification as Australia have said… Read more »


And yet they saw fit to classify at NSW State Championships in 2014 and 2015- hardly a high profile international meet.


Fred and Karen
It is a great pity then that the IPC aren’t classifying at this ‘major International competition’ – Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships.
Can you tell if an athlete can be pulled up by the IPC during competition at this meet? Is this a provision in the IPCs classification rules?


When it states that only athletes with current international classifications will be considered for medals does this mean up to date and classified this year or just currently hold an international classification? I take it as the latter as why would Swimming Australia hold the event if 99% of their swimmers wouldn’t be able to compete for medals. With Australia not being classified as yet this also means that any world records ‘broken’ by them will not be ratified and included on IPC page

Yes I also agree that not having classification at this event is odd and makes Swimming Australia look like they are up to something.


Good point Mary.
Has LP 100 free WR from Com Games been ratified?


No. An English girl that she beat at Commonwealth games grabbed the record recently.


Aus Swimmer LP lowered her own 400fr WR mark tonight at ParaPanPacs. The live video of her WR breaking performance was, quite frankly, extraordinary. We haven’t been subjected to the usual fuss and feathers from her, Australia and the IPC so will her WR be ratified? The purpose, not the importance, of ParaPanPacs is now as clear as mud to me.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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