2018 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, August 9 – Tuesday, August 14, 2018
- Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Tokyo, Japan
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Swimmers are gearing up for day 2 prelims of the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan. This morning brings prelims of the 100 free, 200 fly, and 100 back. Once again, the Americans will be competing for Worlds spots, as the fastest 2 men and women from finals between this meet and U.S. Nationals will advance to Worlds in the individual races. In the 100 free, the 3rd and 4th fastest Americans between finals of Pan Pacs and Nationals will be guaranteed a Worlds spot for the relay, while the 5th and 6th fastest have a good shot of making the team as well. Read on for a preview of 3 of the exciting races to come.
CAELEB DRESSEL THE FAVORITE IN MEN’S 100 FREE:
Though Caeleb Dressel has already swum at this meet, taking on the 200 free prelims and helping the U.S. to bronze in the mixed medley relay, this is the first of his main events this meet. Dressel, the reigning World Champion in the sprint freestyles, was 6th in this event at U.S. Nationals, but should be in better form here. Zach Apple, who put up the fastest time of U.S. Nationals with his prelims swim, and Blake Pieroni, who won U.S. Nationals, are the men to beat with a pair of 48.0s in order for Dressel to nab an individual Worlds spot.
The battle for the top 4 Americans between Pan Pacs finals and Nationals finals should be a good one. Only the top 4 Americans are guaranteed a Worlds relay spot, but the 5th and 6th fastest have a shot at qualifying too. So far, Pieroni and Olympic champ Nathan Adrian are the top 2, followed by Townley Haas and Apple. Michael Chadwick is 5th, while Dressel is 6th. Adrian, who finished 2nd at U.S. Nationals and had his winning streak snapped, is a definite title threat here. Japan’s Katsumi Nakamura and Brazil’s Pedro Spajari will also challenge as they’re entered sub-48.
RYAN MURPHY RACING TO RETURN TO THE TOP IN MEN’S 100 BACK:
Olympic champ Ryan Murphy wasn’t at his best last summer, but he’s well on his way back to the top after his performances at U.S. Nationals. Murphy and fellow 100 back Olympic champ Matt Grevers are the favorites, but Japan’s Ryosuke Irie should also be in the mix. Kitajima broke 53 on the leadoff of Japan’s mixed medley relay. Australian Mitch Larkin, the 2015 World Champion in the backstrokes, swim his fastest time since Rio on that leadoff as Australia ultimately won the race and he’s also a threat for 100 back gold.
SIMONE MANUEL VS. CATE CAMPBELL IN WOMEN’S 100 FREE:
Former World Record holder Cate Campbell put up the fastest split in history with a 50.93 freestyle anchor to give Australia the gold in the mixed medley relay. She has to be the favorite heading into this race, but Olympic champ and World champ Simone Manuel can never be counted out. On paper, Cambell had the faster time and looks like she’s in great form, but Manuel is an incredible racer and could pull off the win. Teammate Mallory Comerford, who briefly held the American Record last summer, is also in the mix. After going 1-2 in the 200 free to break their respective national records, Canada’s Taylor Ruck and Japan’s Rikako Ikee are medal favorites in this race and could pull off the win.
The American women will also be fighting for Worlds spots here. Margo Geer and Olympian Abbey Weitzeil currently occupy the 3rd and 4th spots for Americans, while Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt are 5th and 6th respectively. Geer, Weitzeil, and Schmitt will be racing the event here. One of the threats to break into the American top 6 is Kelsi Dahlia.
Catch real-time updates of these races and more shortly on SwimSwam’s live recap.