2019 PAN AMERICAN GAMES
- Villa Deportiva Nacional – Videna, Lima, Peru
- Tuesday, August 6th – Saturday, August 10th (pool swimming)
- Prelims 11 AM / Finals 8:30 PM (local time)
- Official Website
- Entry List
- Live Results
There were no major scratches pre-session on day 1 of the 2019 Pan American Games.
Brazil Goes For Triple-Double in Men’s 100 Breast
For two consecutive editions of the Pan American Games, Brazil has swept both gold and silver in the men’s 100 breast. This time around, they come in with the top two seeds, searching for a third-straight finish with the top two medals. Felipe Lima was the silver medalist in both 2011 and 2015, and goes for gold in 2019. Joao Gomes Junior is the second seed.
They’ll need to be better than they were at Worlds, though. Lima missed semifinals with a 1:00.00, and Gomes missed the final after going 59.25 in heats and 59.33 in semis. They’ve got 2016 U.S. Olympians Cody Miller and Kevin Cordes on their heels.
Pignatiello debuts in women’s 400 free
One of the top young swimmers on the planet, Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello didn’t compete at Worlds. She’ll instead race at Pan Ams, and has a shot at a distance sweep. She’s the top 400 free seed, and went 4:06.6 just two months ago. The South American record stands at 4:06.02, and Pignatiello has a shot at taking down her third continental record. (She already owns the 800 and 1500 in long course).
All Eyes on the Lazor Beam in women’s 100 breast
With the exception of world record-holder Lilly King, the fastest American woman in the breaststrokes this year has been Annie Lazor. King’s IU training partner, Lazor has the #2 time among Americans in the 100 breast this season and #1 in the 200. Her 200 time, in fact, is second in the entire world.
Lazor has a chance to be the biggest counterargument to the Team USA strategy of selecting its national teams a year out in the pre-Olympic seasons, especially if she puts up a time in Lima that would have medaled at Worlds in Gwangju. It took 1:06.36 to medal; Lazor has already been 1:06.03 this year. And the second American at Worlds, Micah Sumrall, went just 1:07.81, missing the medal final entirely.
De Deus eyes three-peat in men’s 200 fly
Leonardo de Deus holds another Brazilian streak: two straight Pan Ams golds in the 200 fly. He’s won both in dominant fashion: his 2011 title came by six tenths of a second and his 2015 gold by 1.9 seconds. He’s the top seed by about four tenths over American Tom Shields.
Can another American surge into 4×100 free relay contention?
If there’s been a theme of this summer, it’s American men putting up otherworldly swims in a deep 100 free crowd. Between world champ Caeleb Dressel (46.96 individually), World University Games champ Zach Apple (47.79 individually and 46.8 on a relay), U.S. National champ Ryan Held (47.39) and WUGs relay star Dean Farris (47.0 on a relay), the field for the 2020 4×100 free relay looks brutal. And it could get even tougher this week. Olympic veteran Nathan Adrian should compete on the relay after splitting 47.0 at Worlds. And Michael Chadwick gets another shot after a 47.9 prelims split wasn’t enough to get him on the final Worlds relay.
The 18-person roster limit forced the U.S. to leave its next-best relay swimmers (Ryan Held and Tate Jackson, based off of the qualifying meet) home. That means they’ll have to use some versatile types to fill out the relay: perhaps multi-distance free swimmers like Drew Kibler (49.2 at Nationals last week) or Grant House (49.8 last summer), or veterans like Tom Shields (49.4 back in 2015, but without a sub-50 swim since 2017).
Small Rosters = Creative Relay Decisions
With team rosters capped at just 18, teams found it much tougher to bring relay-only swimmers to pad out their relay events. Like the men’s relay above, the U.S. women will have some interesting choices, too, in today’s 4×100 free relay. Margo Geer (53.4 last year; 54.0 this year) and Lia Neal (53.9 last year; 55.4 this year) should be on the team, though Neal may have to improve her season-best to stay in the mix. The other half might be a tough call between flyer Kendyl Stewart (55.3 this year; 55.7 last year), mid-distance type Claire Rasmus (55.4 this year; 55.0 last year), backstroker Ali DeLoof (55.5 this year; 56.2 last year), 200 freestyler Meaghan Raab (56.3 this year; 55.6 last year), IMer/backstroker Alex Walsh (55.6 last year, no swims in the event this year) or flyer Sarah Gibson (56.1 this year; 55.8 last year).
Talk about tough calls: you can’t even get all of them prelims swims to help make the decision for finals. It’s maybe a fair bet to rule out Gibson, who will swim the 200 fly in today’s session, too. But any of the other 7 could be in the mix for spots in either prelims or finals. With only 10 entries, there’s not too much fear of swimming an off-lineup in the heats, so watch for any/all of these swimmers to get shots this morning.
Update: it appears the relays will all advance to the final and there won’t be any prelims sessions of today’s relays. That pushes these last two storylines on to tonight’s finals.