U.S. Slips to 1-For-5 in Relays at 2018 Pan Pac Championships (Medals)


After 3 days of competition at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, the United States still holds a margin in both gold medals (11) and total medals (28), but the mood among the fans of the American team is far from positive.

In 5 relays so far at the meet, the United States has won 1 gold, 2 silvers, and a bronze. With just the men’s and women’s medley relays left to swim, they would need gold medals in both to avoid becoming the first U.S. Pan Pacs team since 2002 to win less than 3 medals.

The American men’s DQ in the 400 free relay, after breaking a championship record no-less, was the icing on the cake for the team’s relay performance at this meet. The DQ itself overshadowed the fact that Caeleb Dressel split just 48.76 on the leadoff leg, which is exactly 1.50 seconds slower than he split on the leadoff of last year’s relay at the World Championships – which broke the American Record.

In the two remaining relevant races, the Americans have a double shot at gold (and avoiding a 1-relay-win meet). In the men’s medley, nobody at this meet has a breaststroker so far ahead as to expose the Americans’ weakness on that leg. Ryan Murphy has raced well this week, and of Dressel’s swims, his 100 fly was his best so far (though, the quality of his swims seems to be lagging as the meet goes on).

The American women have a shot too, with the best breaststroker (Lilly King) in the field. Japan probably doesn’t have enough to go around Rikako Ikee to catch the Americans, but the Australians have been swimming well, and have the better 100 backstroker and freestyler at the meet so far. The battle for gold will come down to whether Cate Campbell‘s anchor is closer to the all-time-best 50.93 she put down on the mixed medley anchor (the whole field was women, so no drafting influence), or the 52.0 that she swam in the individual race.

That relay misfortune for the Americans was to the positive for Brazil, as it bumped their men up to the top of the podium and gave them their first gold medal of the meet.

The U.S. has now won 44% of the gold medals, which is right on pace with where they were in 2014 (but historically low), but their total medal percentage has fallen to 37.3%, which is well 2014 (39.8% of the medals).

Pan Pacs Medals Table After Day 3 (Saturday)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 11 9 8 28
2  Australia 6 10 3 19
3  Japan 5 5 8 18
4  Canada 2 1 3 6
5  Brazil 1 1 2 4
Total 25 26 24 75

Day 3 Medalists

Women’s 400 free

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA – 3:58.50
  2. Ariarne Titmus, Australia – 3:59.66
  3. Leah Smith, USA – 4:04.23

Men’s 400 free

  1. Jack McLoughlin, Australia – 3:44.20
  2. Mack Horton, Australia – 3:44.31
  3. Zane Grothe, USA – 3:45.37

Women’s 100 fly

  1. Rikako Ikee, Japan –  56.08  (Championship/Japanese Record)
  2. Kelsi Worrell Dahlia, USA – 56.44
  3. Emma McKeon, Australia – 56.54

Men’s 100 fly

  1. Caeleb Dressel, USA – 50.75
  2. Jack Conger, USA – 51.32
  3. Vinny Lanza, Brazil – 51.44

Women’s 200 IM

  1. Yui Ohashi, Japan – 2:08.16 (Championship Record)
  2. Sydney  Pickrem, Canada – 2:09.07
  3. Miho Teramura, Japan – 2:09..86

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

Women’s 400 free relay

  1. Australia – 3:31.58 (Championship Record)
  2. USA – 3:33.45
  3. Canada – 3:34.07

Men’s 400 free relay

  1. Brazil – 3:12.02
  2. Australia – 3:12.53
  3. Japan – 3:12.54 (Japanese Record)

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Jim C

You should divide Pan Pacs into two groups: those held in North America and those held half way around the world. You should not expect the US to perform as well in the second group as they do in the first group.


So all of the Olympics and World Championships must be held in North America? I understand the United States’ underperforming this week is frustrating but I feel that the coaches are more to blame than any other factor.

Jim C

I merely noted that there are essentially home and away meets, and I would suggest that the US performance at the Aussie Gold Coast in 2010 should not be expected to be at the same level at the US performance in Irvine in 2006. It is offensive of you to read into what I wrote a claim that all Olympics and World Championships must be held in North America. In fact, only one World Championship out of seventeen has ever been held in North America, and not one has ever been held in the US.


That’s mainly because the US bodies don’t bid for world championships (in track & field as well as swimming) since they don’t get government support to hold them and will probably be a financial loss. Of course, the US hardly ever stops bidding for an Olympics…

samuel huntington

oh no, more weak excuses. You need to be ready to perform, whether it’s in California or Tokyo.


but without proper time difference preparations , its not easy to perform better than they did so far .

Coach Mike 1952

I agree wholeheartedly with ErvinfortheWin that the time change for this meet was brutal on performances. I just hope the athletes will be vocal about this. 4 days to shift time zones sixteen hours (from Irvine) is too much to expect out of anyone. USA Swimming had something to say about this as well, I do not believe it was merely a coaches decision, but maybe it was. How can we find out?

Jim C

No excuses are needed. The US is almost certain to be the most successful country at this year’s Pan Pacs. But historically when the US puts up a relatively weak performance such as they did in 2014 they still win.

Jim C

Would it make you feel any better if the US performed like the Aussies and had only 6 golds instead of 11 or like the Japanese and had only 5?

Swammer from Wakanda

Hawaii is the perfect spot. It’s a 5 hour difference from Japan and a 3 hour difference from California. Almost the same change for everyone

Love to Swim

Why should Japan host Pan Pacs in Hawaii?


Training camp in Hawaii


do they have the infrastructures to host such a meet is the question remaining ….




So the Aussies can use that excuse for Rio? Yes?


The Aussies could use that excuse for any competition that’s not in East Asia. Australia are labelled chokers that can only perform at home when they typically have to travel further than the distance between Irvine and Tokyo traveling through more extreme time zone differences.


one of the main reasons national teams hold training camps is to adapt to the timezone change, something usa failed to do as they only arrived in japan a few days before pan pacs.

even if what you said is true, usa’s only option is to deal with it. because the next three major competitions are all in asia.

Coach Mike 1952



The US performance has been underwhelming. Elite coaches need to go back to the drawing board and consider what they’ve been doing wrong. Athletes should do the same.

Holy water

The athletes did their best given the terrible position the coaches put them in. Not sure who’s at fault for the M4x100fr debacle, but all the other blame lies with the coaches. Too short a gap between trials and pan pacs, not arriving in Tokyo earlier and some poor relay decisions

Right Dude Here

As expected, the only relays that win are relays with Texas swimmers on them. It would be prudent to put Wilson on the medley.


As expected? Dude did you not watch Caeleb Dressel and Nathan Adrian last year? What about Ryan Murphy this year?

Ole 99

Maybe Texas swimmers should swam fast enough to earn spots on relays.


Didn’t Andrew split 59.2 on the relay? I’d say he’s having a pretty good meet compared to the majority of the swimmers there. His finals in the 100 breast was a miss, but by no more margin than any other swim from dressel, conger, or litherland. And his 100 back and 100 fly were on point


Michael Andrew also split 59.2, he doesn’t swim for Texas either.


Townley is killing it.

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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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