Comparing the Medalists from Euros and Pan Pacs (Full-Meet Breakdown)

As is tradition when two major meets are lined up against each other in the swimming calendar, after 2 days of the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, we have enough results to start comparing times from one meet to those of the other.

Yes, we know that there’s a lot more countries in Europe than at Pan Pacs, and yes we know it’s not a perfect comparison, but the population of the Pan Pacs nations are way bigger (thanks, China), and are you telling me you DON’T want us to do the comparison? Didn’t think so.

The story from the first two days of Pan Pacs, where we did an interim comparison, carried throughout the meet. The European men would have won 1 more race than their Pan Paquer conterparts, but Pan Pacs overall had more depth in the meet.The women’s meet, on the other hand, was no comparison: with many of the top European women not swimming at their best, the Pan Pac team, led by 3 individual top times from the always-reliable Katie Ledecky, would have dominated them in a dual meet.

Men Gold Silver Bronze Total
Europe 9 7 7 23
Pan Pacs 8 10 11 29


Women Gold Silver Bronze Total
Europe 3 8 6 17
Pan Pacs 14 9 11 34

A few observations from the tables:

  • Because of the nature of the European Championships, with legitimate semi-finals challenges for spots, and a deeper 1-through-8 pool of competition (Pan Pacs led 1-3 depth, but Europe with so many more countries dominates 1-8 depth), there is a lot more action in early heats on the old continent, if we were comparing ‘meet best’ times. For example, in the men’s 50 free, Italy’s Andrea Vergani and Russia’s Vlad Morozov were both faster in the semi-finals than the fastest American Michael Andrew was in Tokyo.
  • Europe continues to lag well-behind in the men’s IM races, which inexplicably the continent has been comparatively-weak in for most of this millennium. This is something that jumped out at me in 2013, when an 18-year old Semen Makovich broke the Russian record in the 200 IM in just 1:59.50 (a time that he didn’t improve upon for 5 years), and it has continued to nag at me ever since. Aside from the Hungarians, Europe hasn’t done much in the events on the world stage (either in terms of medals or times) since Italy’s Massimiliano Rosolini retired.
  • Pan Pacs nations dominate the relays, taking 17 out of a possible 21 top-3 spots in the comparison. That includes a clean sweep of the women’s races, where besides the European stars having challenges, most of the continent’s superstar swimmers (Katinka Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom, Mireia Belmonte) swim for countries without a great relay depth of talent. If you put Sarah Sjostrom on the Dutch relays, or Katinka Hosszu on the Danish relays, or even Mireia Belmonte on the Hungarian relays, those relays would probably contend with the Americans and Australians instantly.
  • The European swimmers had many more races to swim, because of 50 meter stroke races, more mixed relays, and semi-finals, than did Pan Pacs swimmers. They also had racing spread over a much longer time period, 8 days as compared to 4 for Pan Pacs. Pan Pacs swimmers, however, had more top athletes travelling further distances to attend the meet. On balance, I’d argue that Pan Pacs has the ‘format advantage,’ especially if we call the jet-lag issues at Pan Pacs self-inflicted. Europe also tends to dominate Pan Pacs nations in the 50 meter stroke races, which aren’t a part of this comparison because they weren’t raced at Pan Pacs (so there’s nothing to compare).


Men’s 50 free

  1. Ben Proud, GBR – 21.34
  2. Kristian Gkolomeev, Greece – 21.44
  3. Michael Andrew, USA – 21.46

Men’s 100 free

  1. Kyle Chalmers, Australia, 48.00
  2. Alessandro Miressi, Italy, 48.01
  3. (TIE) Jack Cartwright, Australia/Caeleb Dressel, USA, 48.22

Men’s 200 free

  1. Duncan Scott, GBR, 1:45.34
  2. Townley Haas, USA, 1:45.56
  3. Andrew Seliskar, USA, 1:45.74

Men’s 400 free

  1. Jack McLoughlin, Australia – 3:44.20
  2. Mack Horton, Australia – 3:44.31
  3. Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine – 3:45.18

Men’s 800 free

  1. Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine – 7:42.96
  2. Zane Grothe, USA – 7:43.74
  3. Jordan Wilimovsky, USA – 7:45.19

Men’s 1500 free

  1. Florian Wellbrock, Germany, 14:36.15
  2. Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine, 14:36.88
  3. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy, 14:42.85

Men’s 100 back

  1. Ryan Murphy, USA, 51.94
  2. Kliment Kolesnikov, Russia, 52.53
  3. Evgeny Rylov, Russia, 52.74

Men’s 200 back

  1. Evgeny Rylov, Russia – 1:53.36 (European Record)
  2. Ryan Murphy, USA – 1:53.57
  3. Ryosuke Irie, Japan – 1:55.12

Men’s 100 breast

  1. Adam Peaty, Great Britain, 57.10 (World Record)
  2. James Wilby, Great Britain, 58.64
  3. Anton Chupkov, Russia, 59.06

Men’s 200 breast

  1. Anton Chupkov, Russia – 2:06.80
  2. Ippei Watanabe, Japan – 2:07.75
  3. Zac Stubblety-Cook, Australia – 2:07.89

Men’s 100 fly

  1. Piero Codia, Italy – 50.64
  2. Caeleb Dressel, USA – 50.75
  3. Mehdy Metella, France – 51.24

Men’s 200 fly

  1. Kristof Milak, Hungary, 1:52.79
  2. Daiya Seto, Japan, 1:54.34
  3. Tamas Kenderesi, Hungary, 1:54.36

Men’s 200 IM

  1. Chase Kalisz, USA – 1:55.40
  2. Mitch Larkin, Australia – 1:56.21
  3. Kosuke Hagino, Japan – 1:56.66

Men’s 400 IM

  1. Chase Kalisz, USA, 4:07.95
  2. David Verraszto, Hungary, 4:10.65
  3. Max Litchfield, Great Britain, 4:11.00

Men’s 400 free relay

  1. Brazil – 3:12.02
  2. Russia – 3:12.23
  3. Australia – 3:12.53

* Note – since this is more a comparison of performance than of proper administrative rules, it should be noted that the USA had the fastest time here before their DQ.

Men’s 800 free relay

  1. USA, 7:04.36
  2. Australia, 7:04.70
  3. Great Britain, 7:05.32

Men’s 400 medley relay

  1. USA – 3:30.20
  2. Japan – 3:30.25
  3. Great Britain – 3:30.44

Women’s 50 free

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden – 23.74
  2. Pernille Blume, Denmark – 23.75
  3. Cate Campbell, Australia – 23.81

Women’s 100 free

  1. Cate Campbell, Australia, 52.03
  2. Simone Manuel, USA, 52.66
  3. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden, 52.93

Women’s 200 free

  1. Taylor Ruck, Canada, 1:54.44
  2. Rikako Ikee, Japan, 1:54.85
  3. Charlotte Bonnet, France, 1:54.95

Women’s 400 free

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA – 3:58.50
  2. Ariarne Titmus, Australia – 3:59.66
  3. Simona Quadarella, Italy – 4:03.35

Women’s 800 free

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA, 8:09.13
  2. Simona Quadarella, Italy, 8:16.45
  3. Ariarne Titmus, Australia, 8:17.07

Women’s 1500 free

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA – 15:38.97
  2. Simona Quadarella, Italy – 15:51.61
  3. Sarah Kohler, Germany – 15:57.85

Women’s 100 back

  1. Kylie Masse, Canada, 58.61
  2. Emily Seebohm, Australia, 58.72
  3. Kathleen Baker, USA, 58.83

Women’s 200 back

  1. Kathleen Baker, USA – 2:06.14
  2. Margherita Panziera, Italy – 2:06.18
  3. Taylor Ruck, Canada – 2:06.41

W0men’s 100 breast

  1. Lilly King, USA, 1:05.44
  2. Yulia Efimova, Russia, 1:05.53
  3. Jessica Hansen, Australia, 1:06.20

Women’s 200 breast

  1. Yulia Efimova, Russia – 2:21.32
  2. Micah Sumrall, USA – 2:21.88
  3. Lilly King, USA – 2:22.12

Women’s 100 fly

  1. Rikako Ikee, Japan – 56.08
  2. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden – 56.23
  3. Kelsi Worrell Dahlia, USA – 56.44

Women’s 200 fly

  1. Boglarka Kapas, Hungary, 2:07.13
  2. Svetlana Chimrova, Russia, 2:07.33
  3. Hali Flickinger, USA, 2:07.35

Women’s 200 IM

  1. Yuhi Ohashi, Japan – 2:08.16
  2. Sydney Pickrem, Canada – 2:09.07
  3. Miho Teramura, Japan – 2:09.86

Women’s 400 IM

  1. Yui Ohashi, Japan, 4:33.77
  2. Fantine Lesaffre, France, 4:34.17
  3. Ilaria Cusinato, Italy, 4:35.05

Women’s 400 free relay

  1. Australia – 3:31.58
  2. USA – 3:33.45
  3. Canada – 3:34.07

Women’s 800 free relay

  1. Australia, 7:44.12
  2. USA, 7:44.37
  3. Canada, 7:47.28

Women’s 400 medley relay

  1. Australia – 3:52.74
  2. USA – 3:53.21
  3. Russia – 3:54.22

Mixed Medley Relay

  1. Australia, 3:38.91
  2. Great Britain, 3:40.18
  3. Japan, 3:40.98

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5 years ago

should leave US out, coz their side will win the comparison.

Kurt Vander Bogart
5 years ago

Thank you for the comparison! Good stuff.

5 years ago

I’d love to see this same analysis using the fastest three times swum at either meet in Prelims, Semis, AND Finals.

Jim C
5 years ago

On Ledecky and Titmus. By women’s rules, the veteran Ledecky should be treated with more deference, and we should not attack the younger swimmer. With men’s rules deference for veterans is not required, but you should expect be attacked without mercy if you do not show such deference.

5 years ago

So, considering these results, the US will lose a duel in the pool against Europe. Not good. Guys defeat is specially clear.

Reply to  Scubi
5 years ago

On paper they would, but in head to head racing (especially if the US did have a 12 hour flight), things might have been different. I’m not too concerned.

Jim C
Reply to  Scubi
5 years ago

The US cannot lose a Duel in the Pool unless they revive the event. If they hold the event and all the top Europeans are no shows then it is unlikely the US will lose. If the US and Europe both sent their A Teams and if all the countries of Europe combined beat the US it would not bother me.

5 years ago

Should athletes who have been tested positive be included ?

Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
Reply to  Jerry
5 years ago

I don’t know. Were they eligible to win medals at either Euros or Pan Pacs? Then they should probably qualify for the “medalists from Euros & Pan Pacs” list.

Reply to  Jerry
5 years ago

I’d make another list, not necessarily excluding everyone who tested positive, but excluding all Russian swimmers as they’ve been proven not to be competing under the same parameters as everyone else. The East Germans have shown us that those medals will not be looked back on as legitimate, and those swimmers will not be counted amongst the greats.

Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger
Reply to  Reid
5 years ago

Yes, I support your ultimate authority to decide which entire nations get to count and which get their times tossed out entirely. In time, I think the “Reid-Approved World Leader” list could become even more prestigious than the actual Worlds results.

SumTing Wong
5 years ago

There are a few favourites going in to 2019 on this list . Ledecky for 800/1500 only , Murphy for the 100 back , Peatty for 100 breast & Kaliscz for IMs ..

Reply to  SumTing Wong
5 years ago

No one born after 2006 will ever go faster than Ledecky’s current WR in the 400… if she loses (it’s possible) it will be because she has another off-meet…

SumTing Wong
Reply to  Caleb
5 years ago

? In 2019; I am not expecting 12 or 13 year Olds to be challenging KL . However who knows what whizz is in the sidelines for these babes 2024 .

Holy water
Reply to  SumTing Wong
5 years ago

M100 back is very open

SumTing Wong
Reply to  Holy water
5 years ago

I was thinking a sub 52 is a level higher than a 52 . Kolesnikov is looming but it takes enormous strength in the last 10 MTRS tto finish & he is still growing . 2020 is another year!

Reply to  SumTing Wong
5 years ago

people forget that Xu went 51.86

SumTing Wong
Reply to  Dylab
5 years ago

He is not on this list .which is Euros vs PPs . I of course do know of him but his race is this week .

Jim C
Reply to  SumTing Wong
5 years ago

Even though she is not on the list I would make Ledecky my favorite for the 200 free. Next year she will not have to worry about an 800 200 double. This does not mean I think she will win, but if I think there is 40% chance for Ledecky, 30% for Ruck, and another 30% for everyone else combined, then Ledecky would be the favorite. I assume, however, Wong is thinking about clear favorites. Peaty in the 100 and the 50 and Ledecky in the 1500 are overwhelming A+ favorites. Ledecky is just a little more vulnerable in the 800, call it an A, and Kaliscz in the 400IM gets an A-. Ledecky in the 400 is a favorite… Read more »

5 years ago

great article.. i was hoping you’d do something like this. thanks

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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