By USA Swimming | Tuesday, August 7, 2018
TOKYO – Led by 18 Olympic gold medalists, 57 of the United States’ top swimmers will open the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships on Thursday at the Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center.
The four-day pool competition runs through Sunday with daily prelims at 10 a.m. local time (JST) and nightly finals starting between 6-6:30 p.m. JST. Full competition details are available at panpacs2018.com.
In the U.S., the Olympic Channel will feature daily television coverage, and NBC will air broadcasts Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. EDT. In addition, USA Swimming’s Deck Pass Live show will recap at the all action from Tokyo daily at 1 p.m. EDT onsftest.usaswimming.org.
Pacing Team USA will be five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky (Bethesda, Md./Stanford Swimming), who won four individual titles at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia. She is joined by fellow individual 2016 Olympic champions Lilly King (Evansville, Ind./Indiana University), Simone Manuel (Sugar Land, Texas/Stanford Swimming) and Ryan Murphy (Jacksonville, Fla./California Aquatics) and individual 2017 world champions Caeleb Dressel (Green Cove Springs, Fla./Bolles School Sharks) and Chase Kalisz (Bel Air, Md./Athens Bulldog Swim Club).
"We have a great mix of veterans and rookies on our team and we’re just going to feed off one another and push each other to have really fast swims and use the energy of being on Team USA to motivate us and push us through the week," Ledecky said.
"We have some great swimmers from around the world at this competition, and I think it will be a great four days of racing."
London 2012 Olympic champions Nathan Adrian (Bremerton, Wash./California Aquatics), Matt Grevers (Lake Forest, Ill./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics) and Allison Schmitt (Canton, Mich./Pitchfork Aquatics) – and Olympic medalist Leah Smith (Pittsburgh, Pa./Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics) – were voted co-captains by their teammates.
"From a team perspective, Team USA has a lot of respect for everyone here, but we are also here to try to win – there’s no doubt about that. I think that’s something we think we’re capable of doing and that’s a goal of ours because if you compete against the best at a meet like this, you can be the best in two years," said Adrian, who like Ledecky is hoping to back in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic Games.
U.S. swimmers qualified for Pan Pacs at last month’s Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, California. There, Olympic medalist Kathleen Baker (Winston-Salem, N.C./Team Elite) set a world record in the 100-meter backstroke, and 19-year-old Michael Andrew (Lawrence, Kan./Race Pace Club) had a breakout meet with four event victories. The combined results of 2018 Phillips 66 Nationals and this week’s Pan Pacs will determine the U.S. roster for the 2019 FINA World Championships.
First held in 1985, the Pan Pacific Championships feature top swimmers from the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan and more. It was founded as a first-class international competition between Olympic Games and the FINA World Championships. Swimmers representing approximately 20 nations will be competing this week.
Following the pool competition, the open water 10-kilometer event will be held Tuesday, Aug. 14 at Hojo Beach with eight Americans in action, including world champions Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif./Trojan Swim Club), Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y./TAC Titans) and Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Team Santa Monica).