2018 Pan Pacs: Kalisz, Hagino Set for 400 IM Showdown


Swimmers are getting ready for the first finals session of the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan. We’ll see the races for the championship titles in the 100 breast, 200 free, 400 IM, women’s 800 free, men’s 1500 free, and mixed 400 medley relay tonight. For a recap of how the prelims session went, click here. Read on for a preview of some of the exciting races to come.


One of the most anticipated races tonight is the men’s 400 IM, which will feature World Champion Chase Kalisz, Olympic Champion Kosuke Hagino, and Olympic medalist Daiya Seto. In Rio, Hagino snapped the U.S. winning streak in the 400 IM, beating Kalisz and earning Olympic gold for Japan. Last summer in Budapest, Kalisz roared to the top, winning the 400 IM title as Hagino fell to 6th in the final. Kalisz will be fighting to stay on top in this race and is riding the momentum of an IM sweep from last summer, but Hagino looks like he’s in better form and will be seeking redemption in this race. We can’t count out Japan’s Daiya Seto either, though, as he’s the 8th fastest man in history in this event.


Last summer, Olympic champ Lilly King cracked the World Records in both the 50 breast and 100 breast as she took the wins in Budapest. Now, King is seeking her first Pan Pacs title and should be well ahead of the field if she’s at her best. Her toughest challenger looks to be Japan’s Reona Aoki, who dipped into the 1:05-range this year and is just 2 hundredths shy of the Japanese Record. Katie Meili, the Olympic bronze medalist in this event, will be swimming in the B final. Micah Sumrall, a 2012 Olympian, has been making a comeback this year and will swim in the A final with King. However, the battle for the 2nd Worlds spot among the Americans will go to whoever has the fastest time between tonight’s finals and U.S. Nationals.


Andrew Seliskar is the American to beat in this event. After pulling off an upset to win U.S. Nationals, Seliskar topped prelims as the only man to break 1:46, but Olympian and Worlds medalist Townley Haas is looming. They’ll have to be on top of it to secure spots for Worlds, with Blake Pieroni and Zach Apple competing in the B final. Pieroni has had a very strong year as the first man to break 1:30 in the yards version of this event, while Apple had a breakout swim this morning, breaking 1:48 for the first time.

The Australian medal favorites coming into the meet, Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton,won’t be in the championship heat tonight as Chalmers scratched the B heat and Horton will be in the B final. However, Australia will have Alexander Graham and Clyde Lewis in the championship heat to challenge for the gold. Japan’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto is also a gold medal threat.

Catch live updates of these races and more here on SwimSwam.

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About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She is now coaching for Loggerhead Aquatics in her hometown …

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