FUKUOKA, Japan – It took a world record holder to hand Jenny Thompson her only loss of the Pan Pacific Championships on Wednesday, but she still won her fifth gold of the meet. Le Jingyi of China touched out Thompson by .18 seconds in the 50m freestyle, but Thompson came back and anchored her team to victory in the women’s 400m medley relay. That was 1 of 6 American victories in 10 races on the meet’s final day, and gave the U.S. team a total of 19 golds in 36 races. It also boosted Thompson’s total to 18 gold medals in Pan Pacific competition. Thompson’s 5 here came one short of the record 6 golds she won in the 1993 Pan Pacific Championships. American Neil Walker anchored the men’s 400m medley relay team, which won in a meet record 3:36.93. Also winning for the U.S. were Kurt Grote in 2:14.05 in the men’s 200m breaststroke, Kristine Quance in 2:13.79 in the women’s 200m IM, and Brooke Bennett in 8:26.36 in the women’s 800m freestyle. American Bill Pilczuk and Puerto Rico’s Ricky Busquets tied for the gold in the men’s 50m freestyle, both finishing in 22.42. Australia collected 12 gold medals, followed by host Japan and Costa Rica, each with two, and China and Puerto Rico, each with one.
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