Bootsma Breaks Pan Ams Record, Cielo Ties Van den Hoogenband on Day 2 at Pan Ams

The Brazilian men had a great day of competition, to sweep the three finals, as did the American women, who took both golds and silvers available to them on the 2nd day of competition from the 2011 Pan American Games. Thus far, different athletes have been affected differently by the altitude, but overall the middle-distance swimmers have been much more heavily hit (as would be expected). The heights of the Mexican mountains in Guadalajara did little to slow down the sprinters, however, beginning with the…

Women’s 100 backstroke

In the morning session, it was American Liz Pelton who broke the Pan American Games Record in this 100 backstroke in a 1:01.57. That record didn’t seem like one that would stand very much longer, after 16-years on the books, and that it didn’t. Only this time, it wasn’t Pelton who broke the mark, it was her fellow American Rachel Bootsma who crushed it in a winning time of 1:00.37, making her the first woman under 1:01 in the history of the Pan Am Games.

Pelton cleared her old mark as well to finish 2nd in 1:01.12. This could be a revelation headed towards the 2012 Olympic Games. Both swimmers are focusing their training specifically on the 2012 Olympic Trials, and though Pelton has the experience, Bootsma has the momentum (though both will be contending with Missy Franklin and Natalie Coughlin for spots in the 100 back as well).

In 3rd was Mexico’s Maria Gonzalez in 1:02.00, which is a touch slower than she was in prelims.

Event Results here.

Men’s 100 freestyle

The Cesar Cielo camp speculated to media before this meet that he might be faster here than he was at the World Championships, and so far that has held true. He put out an awesome 47.84 to show that he’s still got some chops in the 100 free (and not just the 50’s), as that ties Pieter van den Hoogenband as the 2nd-fastest swimmer ever in textile (behind James Magnussen’s 47.49 from the World Championships). It also is a new Pan American Games Record. He went out in a 22.84 and came back in a 25.00 to make that mark, which is great splitting. He again had a weak start, as seems to have been his problem since 2010’s short course World Championships in Dubai. And all of this done at 5,000 feet above sea level.

He’s struggled with the new adjustable track-start blocks (it seems to be mostly mental based on some bickering with his federation over the blocks), but if he can get that start together, he can certainly challenge Magnussen in London. One almost has to wonder if he wouldn’t be better off just pushing the adjustable-back all the way to the back of the block and treat them like regular starting blocks, and thus avoid the distraction.

Hanser Garcia of Cuba went a career-best time of 48.34 to take silver, which makes him the 12th-fastest in the world this year. He’s gone from mediocre to elite in a very short span and is now the headliner of the Cuban program that has struggled recently. In 3rd was Florida graduate Shaune Fraser, representing the Cayman Islands, in 48.63. That’s the 2nd-best time of his career, only behind a rubber-suited swim at the 2009 World Championships.

This marked the first event of the meet where the Americans failed to medal, with Scot Robison in 4th at 48.98 and Bobby Savulich in 6th at 49.62.

Event Results here.

Women’s 200 free

Cal’s Catherine Breed will probably win multiple awards in her time in Berkeley. Yet, with only two college meets under her belt, she’s already taken a big-time international medal with a 2:00.08 in the 200 free. That placed her just ahead of fellow USA Swimmer Chelsea Nauta in 2:00.62. Andreina Pinto of Venezuela, the younger of the fighting Pinto sisters, touched 3rd in 2:00.79. She is training at Florida right now, which gives the United States’ three hottest women’s programs right now all three medals of the race.

Event Results here.

Men’s 100 breaststroke

Brazil’s Felipe Silva missed his goal of breaking one-minute, but he still put up a solid gold-medal-winning time of 1:00.34 to win the men’s 100 breaststroke. That missed Mark Gangloff’s Meet Record by just a tenth. His Brazilian teammate Felipe Lima took 2nd in 1:00.99, with the USA’s Marcus Titus taking 3rd in 1:01.12. Titus just bested countrymate Kevin Swander, who was 4th in 1:01.17.

Event Results here.

Men’s 400 free relay

In a huge upset by the Brazilians, they took the men’s 400 free relay over the Americans, who were dominant in prelims. The Brazilian win was even more surprising with Bruno Fratus suffering from tonsillitis and scratching the 100 free B-finals. But in this relay, no surprise, Mr. Cesar Cielo led the way with a blazing split of 47.07 (22.54-24.53 splits) on the 3rd leg with Fratus, Nicholas Santos, and Nicolas Oliveira. The team’s final time was 3:14.65, which was a new Pan American Games Record (breaking the Brazilian’s old mark from 2007).

The Americans took 2nd in 3:15.62, and the Venezuelans were 3rd in 3:19.92. The American silver medals went to William Copeland (49.71), Chris Brady (49.03), Bobby Savulich (48.33), and Scot Robison (48.55).

The Venezuelan relay was anchored by Albert Subirats in his first swim since winning an appeal to have a year-long suspension for failing to file his whereabouts overturned. He anchored in 49.30, which is a decent time for him. His only individual swim will be in the 100 fly.

Event Results here.

Medal Table

The Americans continue to lead the overall medals table, though a sweep by the Brazilian men of the day two events gives them 4 golds to the USA mens’ 1.

Medal Table
Place CON Oro Plata Bronce Total
1 Estados Unidos de América 6 5 4 15
2 Brasil 4 4 0 8
3 Cuba 0 1 0 1
4 Venezuela 0 0 3 3
5 Canadá 0 0 1 1
Islas Caimán 0 0 1 1
México 0 0 1 1


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bobo gigi

Nothing new for american swimming. There’s a great level in the women’s 100 m backstroke. Behind Missy Franklin, I think the battle wiil be tough for the second spot between Rachel Bootsma and Natalie Coughlin. And there’s bad level in the men’s 100 m free and 100 m breaststroke where except Nathan Adrian and Brendan Hansen, there’s no hope for medals. The problem is more impressive in the 100 m free. Why USA have a problem with that race? Michael Phelps is the best sprinter in america without specific training. But it was the same thing with women before the new comers. You have the physical potential in the next generation of girls. Lia Neal, Madeline Schaefer, Simone Manuel, Kristen… Read more »

Wow. The meet hasn’t even happened and 2012 is already over? Throwing in the towel and looking for 2016? Granted there is not a lot of time left (given the entire length of a quadrennial), but there is still time. You can say what if all you want, but Lochte and Phelps are still in the picture. You could also say something similar about Brazil in Cielo. Or for that matter in many team sports… Is it fair to say that the USA is in a bit of a rebuilding stage at this point? There is a ton of young talent out there on both sides of the gender line. To be rebuilding on the guys side while you still… Read more »

bobo gigi

I writed only that the battle will be tough behind Missy Franklin in the women’s 100 backstroke where the level is fantastic and I made the comparison with the men’s 100 free where the level except Nathan Adrian is very poor. Michael Phelps is the best american sprinter without specific training and he probably will not swim that event in olympic games because to be competitive against pure specialists you must be focus only on sprint’s races. I asked only why USA are fantastic in so many races and have big difficulties in the men’s 100 free.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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