GOLD COAST, Australia, August 23. THE heat sheets for tonight’s competition at the Pan Pacific championships show some exciting lane placements that will produce some thrilling results in all the championship final events.
The marquee matchup tonight is Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte in the 100 fly final. This will be the first time the two have swum the event together at a major international meet, with Lochte just making his mark in the event last year. Lochte will take lane four in the final, with Phelps in lane five. The two are expected to be far ahead of the field, with third seed Tommaso D’Orsogna of Australia a full second behind based on times swum in prelims.
Katie Ledecky will chase her world record in the 400 freestyle tonight, with a fourth gold medal for the 17-year-old not in jeopardy. Given that Ledecky challenged her 800 free record on Thursday, it’s likely that she’ll push the pace for most of the race. Teammate Cierra Runge is the second seed, and will be in a battle with New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle and Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto.
Alicia Coutts and Emma McKeon will look to give Australia a 1-2 finish in the women’s 100 fly tonight, while Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Beisel will try to give the Americans a sweep of the top of the podium in the women’s 200 back. Belinda Hocking of Australia is the top seed and will be a tough challenger.
With Ryan Lochte scratching from the 200 back prelims this morning, Tyler Clary and Ryan Murphy will be the Americans flanking Japan’s Ryosuke Irie tonight. Irie is looking for a sweep of the backstrokes after winning the 100 on Thursday.
The 400 free relays will close out the competition. The list of competitors racing in that event is expected to be released soon.
The only scratch of interest is in the B final of the men’s 200 back. Jacob Pebley withdrew after posting the third-fastest time of the prelims among Americans.
Click the images below to see the lineups for tonight’s finals!