How Fast Were They? European Champs Vs. Pan Pacs Champs

In the even-numbered, non-Olympic years, the comparisons to determine who’s having the best year is always a challenge. The world’s best swimmers are scattered across the world, at different meets, and with different taper targets.

With that being said, last week, we had two big senior-level competitions going on: the European Championships and the Pan Pac Championships. The European Championships are for swimmers in Europe, and Pan Pacs are specifically targeted at swimmers not in Europe – it even says so in the rules- No Euros allowed.

SwimSwam’s Anne Lepesant has gone through and made a comparison of the top 18 finishers (10 from Pan Pacs, 8 from Euros) from the two meets combined, and ordered them. Given the conditions of Pan Pacs, it seems as though they’d naturally be at a disadvantage, with the outdoor pool and swimming in the rain.

The “wins,” however, in a virtual sense in the individual events were split right down the middle – 14 for the Americans, and 14 for the Europeans.

This comparison focuses on the events raced at Pan Pacs. Because that meet had no 50 meter strokes, we’ve excluded those races, though the Europeans performed very well in them.

A few high-level conclusions:

  • The European male breaststrokers are on-fire at the moment. They took the top three spots in the ranking in the 100 breaststroke and the top two spots in the 200 breaststroke.
  • The American men, specifically, were dominant in the 100 fly, holding three of the top four spots (and it would have been more, were there not limits on the number of athletes who could final). The rest of the Pan Pacs region, however, were not good – All 8 European finalists were faster than Pan Pacs bronze medalist Hirofu Ikebata.
  • Pan Pacs, meanwhile, was dominant in the 200 IM. While Lazlo Cseh’s win in Berlin was his 5th-straight title, at 1:58.10 it would have only been the 6th-fastest time in finals at Pan Pacs.

See the comparison below.

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Rafael
6 years ago

If you add YOG times to their respective countries we would see some changes, Sziliagy would only be beaten by Belmonte on 200 fly, she would beat all Pan pac flyers, Kenderesi, Santana, Ruta. and there is still Asian Games to come..

whoknows
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

It may be better to the YOG with the Junior Pan Pacific as both meets have an age restriction. And then again, the max per team is 4 women and 4 men for the YOG. Teams competing at Junior Pan Pacific have many more members.

Rafael
Reply to  whoknows
6 years ago

Even with more members, it will be tough to beat YOG times, I think apart from Haas there is no swimmer listed on Pan Pacs (just a quick remember, i will need to check later to confirm) than can beat the times of YOG, even the YOG relay times will be tough to be beaten. Most times from YOG are now WJR, so Pan pacs to be faster will need to beat the JWR.

swimfan
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

how about Seliskar? He’ll probably challenge for gold in 3 or 4 events and have a shot at some pretty fast meet records. And with Seliskar, Pieroni, and Haas on the relays, the USA may have some good shots at Junior WRs.

Rafael
Reply to  swimfan
6 years ago

I only checked 200 fly seliskar target is 1:55:95 from kenderesi that is doable i need to check the start list of jr pan pacs to check all

whoknows
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

Maybe hard to beat, but not impossible! 🙂

Rafael
Reply to  whoknows
6 years ago

Checked the events.. let´s put it here. time of JWR and best eligible, I won´t analyze 200 or more free girls time, no one there can beat ledecky for sure and seeing 400/800/1500 no one is even CLOSE to Horton times and also Ruta 100 breast Men 50 free – Time 22:00, best seed 22,67.. Tought to beat Women 50 free time 24,88 – Best seed 25,03 (Doable) Men 100 free – Time 48,25 best seed 49,69 Women 100 free – Time 53,84 best seed 54,80 Men 200 free – Time 1:47:36 Best seed 1:48:72 Men 100 back – Time 54:03 Best Seed 55:54 Women 100 back – Time 59,78 Best Seed 1:00:77 Men 200 Back – Time 1:56:9 I… Read more »

chinesesupreme
Reply to  Rafael
6 years ago

You forget that we are talking about juniors, so it is possible to expect an improvement of the performances. There was a big difference at the time at the start list and the time in the real competition at Olympic Youth. The same might happen in Pan Pacs. It will be interesting to compare the juniors from Europe, USA,Australia and Japan. Chinese junior swimming is so strong right now that it would be unfair to the others any kind of comparison.

Rafael
Reply to  chinesesupreme
6 years ago

Actually there was not gigantic drops.. and many seed time were wrong (Hexin was seeded with a 24 on 50 free but he had a 22,30 already)

whoknows
6 years ago

Kudos to Anne for tabulating the times. However, going to tenth place for Pan Pac gives an advantage to that meet. In many cases, USA and Australia have three swimmers listed. Both meets have a limit of two swimmers per country in finals. IMHO, a better reflection would be the comparison of final champ heats only. It levels the playing field.

whoknows
Reply to  whoknows
6 years ago

Check your times for women’s 100 fly.

Editor
Reply to  whoknows
6 years ago

@WHOKNOWS: I suppose it’s not fair to take the fastest time out of the “B” final. Maybe I should have just taken the two fastest USA or AUS (or whatever Pan Pac team) times and dropped the third. Or ignored the B final altogether. But to be fair, there’s no way to get a completely level playing field when you compare an indoor, week-long meet with heats, semis, and finals, to an outdoor, four-day prelims/finals meet in the middle of winter. I think some of the fun of looking at this data is just simply noting which countries/regions seem to be producing which athletes: who’s strongest at sprints, 200 stroke, distance free, etc. There’s no definitive answer but it’s interesting… Read more »

Danjohnrob
6 years ago

Thanks for all your efforts to compile this data, Anne, and for posting it, Braden! 🙂 What I took away from these lists was just how WELL many less heralded US swimmers performed! Tyler Clary – He always seems to fall in the shadow of others, but was the only US male who would have been close to medaling in more than 2 events if the 2 meets were combined. Cammile Adams – She quietly goes about the business of inching up the 200 fly ladder internationally. Maya Dirado – Strengthened the US position in the shorter IM. Kendyl Stewart and Katie McLaughlin – Hooray! Two desperately needed shots in the arm for US butterfly! Nic Fink (and Kevin Cordes)… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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