2018 Pan Pacific Championships: Day 4 Finals Live Recap


Swimmers are getting ready for the last finals session of the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan. We’ll see the races for the championship titles in the 200 back, 50 free, 200 breast, women’s 1500 free, and men’s 800 free individually tonight. Swimmers will also race in the 400 medley relay finals at the end of the session. For a recap of how this morning’s prelims session went, click here. For a preview of tonight’s events, click here.

Team USA’s Ryan Murphy (200 back) and Josh Prenot (200 breast) lead the way into finals of their respective events after breaking the Pan Pacs Records in prelims. Australia’s Cate Campbell looks for a sprint sweep as she defends her 50 free title while the USA’s Michael Andrew seeks his first individual medal in the 50 free. Katie Ledecky is the clear favorite to win the 1500 and secure the distance sweep. 100 breast champ Lilly King could also pick up a sweep here if she can hold off the 200 breast field. Australia’s Jack McLoughlin, who beat Olympic champion teammate Mack Horton in last night’s 400 free, is one of several stars in the men’s 800 (including Horton).


  1. GOLD: Katie Ledecky, USA, 15:38.97
  2. SILVER: Kiah Melverton, AUS, 16:00.08
  3. BRONZE: Leah Smith, USA, 16:00.82

Katie Ledecky took the lead early on and as expected, dominated for the win. Ledecky, who set the World Record earlier this year at the Indianapolis stop of the Pro Swim Series, touched the wall in 15:38.97. Her time marks the 10th fastest performance in history, and she now owns 9 of the 10 fastest times ever.

Australia’s Kiah Melverton was just a tenth off her best to take silver in 16:00.08, while teammate Kareena Lee touched 3rd in the heat at 16:03.26. Though Lee was 3rd in the heat, Leah Smith took the bronze with her lifetime best 16:00.82 from the early heats. Smith’s time is still the 3rd fastest American time, however, as Ashley Twichell (16:07.49) earns a Worlds trip with her winning time from Nationals.


  • Pan Pacs Record: 7:44.78, Grant Hackett (AUS), 2002
  1. GOLD: Zane Grothe, USA, 7:43.74
  2. SILVER: Jordan Wilimovsky, USA, 7:45.19
  3. BRONZE: Jack McLoughlin, AUS, 7:47.31

Japan’s Naito Ehara (7:55.02) took it out with the lead, but the USA’s Zane Grothe made his move to take over the lead at the 350 mark. Jack McLoughlin of Australia and Team USA’s Jordan Wilimovsky, the mile champion, tried to follow suit, but no one could catch up to Grothe. Grothe took the win in 7:43.74, taking down the 16-year-old Pan Pacs Record and missing the American Record by less than 2 tenths. He’s now the 2nd fastest American ever and dropped almost a second off his best time. Grothe was almost a second ahead of Wilimovsky going into the final 100, and used that same spark we saw at Winter Nationals to open up his lead even more. He ended up negative splitting, going out in 3:53 and coming home in 3:50.

Wilimovsky cut a couple of seconds off his best to take silver in 7:45.19, pulling away from Australia’s Jack McLoughlin in the closing legs. Wilimovsky is now the 4th fastest American ever and he put up the 7th fastest American performance in history. McLoughlin, who won the 400 free last night, smashed his best by 5 seconds as he took bronze in 7:47.31.


  • Pan Pacs Record: 2:07.48, Elizabeth Pelton (USA), 2010
  1. GOLD: Kathleen Baker, USA, 2:06.14
  2. SILVER: Taylor Ruck, CAN, 2:06.41
  3. BRONZE: Regan Smith, USA, 2:06.46

Kathleen Baker of the USA looked much better tonight than she did in the 100 back. She flipped under World Record pace at the 50 to take the early lead. Baker was ahead by a body length going into the final turn, and held on to win it with a new Pan Pacs Record of 2:06.14. That makes Baker the 4th fastest American ever in this event and the 10th fastest performer in history worldwide. It was also the 9th fastest swim ever done by an American. Baker moves ahead of Elizabeth Beisel, a 2012 Olympic medalist in the 200 back.

Canada’s Taylor Ruck and the USA’s Regan Smith made a big push on the last 50, but came up just short as Ruck took silver in 2:06.41, 5 hundredths ahead of Smith’s 2:06.46 for bronze. Both were just hundredths shy of their best times, with Smith coming very close to her World Junior Record. Canada’s Kylie Masse, the 100 back champion, was just off the podium in 2:07.00, narrowly out-touching Australians Kaylee McKeown (2:07.01), the former World Junior Record hodler, and 2017 World Champion Emily Seebohm (2:07.12).


  1. GOLD: Ryan Murphy, USA, 1:53.57
  2. SILVER: Ryosuke Irie, JPN, 1:55.12
  3. BRONZE: Austin Katz, USA, 1:56.00

Ryan Murphy opened up his lead on the front half, flipping under World Record pace at the 100. He fell off the pace by the 150, but still crushed the Pan Pacs Record in 1:53.57. That was Murphy’s first time under 1:54 since he won the 200 back Olympic gold in Rio. It took 5 hundredths off his lifetime best. Murphy is the 7th fastest performer in history. His time was the 5th fastest ever done by an American. Murphy has been very impressive here and has seemed motivated to make his way back to the top of the world rankings after he was beaten in both backstrokes at Worlds last summer. This is a big step in the right direction towards possibly earning his first Worlds individual gold in 2019.

It looked like the USA’s Austin Katz and Australia’s Mitch Larkin would battle for silver, but Japanese Olympic medalist Ryosuke Irie made a big push down the stretch to run them down and take silver in 1:55.12. Katz hit the wall in 1:56.00 for bronze, holding off Larkin (1:56.02), the 2015 200 back World Champion, by a couple of hundredths.

U.S. Olympian Jacob Pebley won the B final in 1:57.12, but will maintain his Worlds spot with his time from Nationals. Had Katz swum as fast as his prelims time (1:55.69), he would’ve knocked Pebley off for the spot, but since he was a bit slower in finals, the spot goes to Pebley.


  1. GOLD: Cate Campbell, AUS, 23.81
  2. SILVER: Simone Manuel, USA, 24.22
  3. BRONZE: Emma McKeon, AUS, 24.34

Cate Campbell successfully defended her title and kept the Pan Pacs Record streak going. That’s 4 Meet Records in a row going down as Campbell won by nearly half a second in 23.81. That was the 9th fastest performance in history and just 3 hundredths shy of her season best from the Commonwealth Games.

The USA’s Simone Manuel, the Olympic silver medalist in this event, took 2nd in 24.22, while Australia’s Emma McKeon picked up the final podium spot as she clipped her lifetime best from prelims in 24.34. That time by Manuel was the 4th fastest swim ever by an American. Canada’s Taylor Ruck, fresh off a silver in the 200 back, was 4th here in 24.47.


  • Pan Pacs Record: 21.44, Bruno Fratus (BRA), 2014
  1. GOLD: Michael Andrew, USA, 21.46
  2. SILVER: Caeleb Dressel, USA, 21.93
  3. BRONZE: Yuri Kisil, CAN, 22.02

Michael Andrew picked up a win for the USA, narrowly missing the Pan Pacs Record by .02 in a lifetime best 21.46. That clipped his best by a few hundredths and now makes him the 5th fastest American ever. His time is tied as the 8th fastest performance ever done by an American. The only other man to break 22 tonight was teammate Caeleb Dressel in 21.93. Andrew now walks away with his first international gold at the senior level.

Canada’s Yuri Kisil clipped his best from the Commonwealth Games by a hundredth to take bronze in 22.02. Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura out-touched teammate Shinri Shioura for 4th, 22.24 to 22.27.


  • Pan Pacs Record: 2:20.69, Rebecca Soni (USA), 2010
  1. GOLD: Micah Sumrall, USA, 2:21.88
  2. SILVER: Lilly King, USA, 2:22.12
  3. BRONZE: Satomi Suzuki, JPN, 2:22.22

U.S. Olympian Micah Sumrall took it out with the lead and held steady through the 150. Teammate Lilly King and Japan’s Satomi Suzuki made a big push on the final 50, but Sumrall held on to win in 2:21.88. That’s the fastest Sumrall, the 2nd fastest American in history, has swum in 5 years. It was just over a tenth shy of her lifetime best from 2013 Worlds.

King hit the wall a tenth ahead of Suzuki, 2:22.12 to 2:22.22, as they rounded out the podium. That was about half a second shy of King’s best from 2017 Nationals and will qualify her to swim the event at 2019 Worlds. Bethany Galat, who formerly occupied the American #2 spot with her 2:23.38 from Nationals, won the B final tonight in 2:24.18.


  1. GOLD: Ippei Watanabe, JPN, 2:07.75
  2. SILVER: Zach Stubblety-Cook, AUS, 2:07.89
  3. BRONZE: Matthew Wilson, AUS, 2:08.22

We saw a few lead changes during this race. Japan’s Yasuhiro Koseki was out the fastest at the 50, but Australia’s Matthew Wilson took over at the halfway mark through the final turn. The field battled closely for the gold, with 5 men challenging, but World Record holder Ippei Watanabe of Japan prevailed to take the win and break Josh Prenot‘s Pan Pacs Record from prelims in 2:07.75.

Australia’s Zach Stubblety-Cook ran down teammate Wilson on the final 50 to take silver in 2:07.89, while Wilson grabbed bronze in 2:08.22. That was a big swim for Stubblety-Cook, taking nearly a second off his best time. Wilson also clipped his best. After setting the Meet Record in prelims, the USA’s Prenot was 5th tonight in 2:08.44, just behind Koseki (2:08.25).


  • Pan Pacs Record: 3:55.23, USA, 2014
  1. GOLD: AUS, 3:52.74
  2. SILVER: USA, 3:53.21
  3. BRONZE: JPN, 3:55.03

Canada took the early lead with 100 back champ Kylie Masse coming through in 58.63. Lilly King (not Margo Geer as announced) then pulled the U.S. into the lead with a 1:04.86 breast split. Australia and Japan started to move up on the fly leg with Emma McKeon (56.45) and Rikako Ikee (55.48) respectively.

The Australians were half a second back when Cate Campbell dove into the water, but Campbell pulled even with Simone Manuel (52.22) halfway and burst off the wall to take the lead and win for Australia as they shattered the Pan Pacs Record in 3:52.74. That marked Campbell’s 5th gold of these Pan Pacs as she anchored in 51.19. Canada fell just short of the podium in 3:55.14, but Taylor Ruck had a very impressive 51.72 anchor split.


  • Pan Pacs Record: 3:29.94, USA, 2014
  1. GOLD: USA, 3:30.20
  2. SILVER: JPN, 3:30.25
  3. BRONZE: AUS, 3:30.52

A close start saw Japan’s Ryosuke Irie just clip Team USA’s Ryan Murphy, 52.61 to 52.70, on the back leg. Japan extended their lead with Yasuhiro Koseki putting up a 58.62 on the breast leg. Caeleb Dressel pulled the Americans even with a 50.64 on the fly. It was a very close race down the stretch between the USA’s Nathan Adrian (47.71), Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura (47.83), and Australia as Kyle Chalmers scorched a 46.91 split, but Adrian was able toget his hand on the wall first to give the USA the win in 3:30.20.

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And we’re off


Ledecky in the water with a big lead as always.


Looks like she is taking it easy, well over 1530 pace


Im not watching a live stream did it look like she was trying?


Stroll in the park by her very high standards


Will be interesting to see what Mr Burgess comes up with in commentary over 15 minutes of time-trial.


Ledecky was on pace for the “world championship” in the 400m freestyle before fading.


Coach Mike 1952

Yikes! Makes me sometimes want Rowdy even, at least he gets the names right.


He keeps perseveratng, relentlessly carrying on !


He just made up another word – parliance

Love to Swim

This guy makes up everything.. and I mean everything… And he just doesn’t care..


Who did hire him in the first place is the real problem …..

Coach Mike 1952

How did you find out his name?


He signed off with it a coupla nights ago and I googled him


https://www.star2.com/people/2016/10/28/john-burgess-the-guy-who-commentated-on-that-lee-chong-wei-lin-dan-match/ Burgess, who turned 70 while covering the Rio Olympics, said that his job as a commentator is to add more zest to what viewers see on screen. “I like to bring in colour and passion. I approach every commentary as if I’m adding a little extra to what people are watching. If I’m just repeating what they see, then there’s really no point, is there?” he explained. There’s really no point either if you’re going to butcher everybody’s name and constantly misplace swimmers during the race. So instead of repeating what you see you stumble and bumble before, during and after every race with zero commentary skills and like someone who’s never watched a swim meet in their life.… Read more »


Honestly, it spiced up the meet for me a bit. Don’t know if I’ve ever laughed this hard alone on Sunday morning


I love this guy! For the Olympics or LC Worlds, I want a serious commentator with a true depth and breadth of knowledge of the sport. For a tertiary International meet like Pan Pacs, especially one with a couple Commonwealth nations competing, I find Burgess’s commentary charmingly hilarious. Thanks to him, we now have some great new nick names for some of our swimmers:

Nathan “the assassin” Adrian
“Killer” Chase “Kalees”

I’m surprised they haven’t caught the sound of ice cubes tinkling in a highball glass in the background, followed by the smooth sound of scotch pouring over.


We also have ” Apple the 6 foot 9 Giant “


Botching the line up in the relay is poetic justice of course. And who knows, maybe it was the coaches who handed the poor guy the wrong names?! But he did get one right, and that’s Adrian the ‘Assassin’. The announcer does like a good race (and he doesn’t squeal).

Love to Swim

How is it poetic justice?


I think I’ll really really miss him because he’s very very brilliant.


the men’s 400 medley relay cracks me up so hard. he keeps insisting that it was the same 4 swimmers who swam for 400 freestyle relay yesterday. lmao


He did the same thing for the women.


He could have a better job by just being quiet. Several times shutting off the sound as a country is playing their national anthem. Botching the names…even when the on site announcer was saying them. Or how about trying to read them off their caps?
Stupid much?


He didn’t have a clue. He used the line-ups for the women’s 4×100 free relay for the medley relay. If he knew the swimmers and their stroke specialties he would have immediately recognized the mistake.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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