Lochte vs. Phelps vs. Hagino vs. Pereira In 200 IM at Pan Pacs: Who Wins Medals??

Photo by Griffin Scott

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Each day through August 19 (US), Swimming World will provide medal predictions for the Pan Pacific championships. We invite you to offer your thoughts on who is in line to win medals in the comments section!

Commentary by Jeff Commings

PHOENIX, Arizona, August 13. JUST as it was at the USA Swimming nationals, the men’s 200 individual medley will fall on the last day of the competition at the Pan Pacific championships. It will be one of the most intense races of the meet, which is a common way to describe a 200 IM final that will likely feature Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.

The two are likely to be the headliners of a loaded field that will also feature world leader Kosuke Hagino of Japan and perennial threat Thiago Pereira of Brazil. Hagino and Pereira were the silver and bronze medalists, respectively, at last year’s world championships in the 200 IM, and will be looking to take down the American duo. I feel Lochte and Phelps have a faster swim in them than the 1:56-low they posted in Irvine, but will it be enough to get one of them on the top of the podium?

Many believe the Japanese will not be fully rested as they prepare for the Asian Games, which takes place two weeks later. I can’t imagine why Hagino and others won’t be fully tapered to have the ability to win multiple gold medals. This is just one event in which Hagino is a gold medal threat, and if he’s not at his best, it would be a surprise. If he can replicate that amazing 1:55.38 from the April nationals, he is in position to steal gold.

Pereira will take the race out hard and will have to hold off everyone if he wants to get a medal this year after placing third to Lochte in the 2010 Pan Pacs. I also see Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Daniel Tranter of Australia in the hunt, but they’ll need to be in the lead pack after backstroke to stay in contention.

As for the 400 IM, this will be a rematch of the great final we saw at world championships. The top fiive finishers from that race are likely going to swim in Australia, so it will be exciting to see if the medals in Australia match up with what took place in Barcelona. World champion Daiya Seto and Hagino will be Japan’s representatives, while Chase Kalisz has been hungry for revenge after getting silver to Seto last year. Pereira got bronze after Hagino faded badly to fourth. Kalisz has shown the most improvement this year in the event, but Japan’s dynamic duo will be tough to beat. Tyler Clary was fourth last year and will need to be a bit faster than his 4:09 from nationals to get a medal.

Men’s individual medley predictions:
200:
Gold:
Ryan Lochte, USA
Silver: Kosuke Hagino, Japan
Bronze: Michael Phelps, USA

400:
Gold:
Chase Kalisz, USA
Silver: Daiya Seto, Japan
Bronze: Kosuke Hagino, Japan

Elizabeth Beisel won her first international 400 IM at the 2010 Pan Pacific championships, and all signs point to a repeat for the 21-year-old. She’s a full three seconds ahead of the rest of the field, and I sense there’s a 4:31 in the cards for her. The key will be swimming her own race, which this very seasoned veteran knows how to do well.

If anyone threatens Beisel for gold, it would be one of the biggest upsets of the meet. Maya DiRado should get on the podium, and could be a part of an American 1-2 sweep. But Japan’s Miho Takahashi stands in the way. I don’t sense anyone else making a serious challenge for medals, but the 400 IM can be such a fickle event that if one of your strokes is off on the day, it could mean the difference between second and fourth.

Alicia Coutts will need to bounce back in a big way if Australia is to win gold in the women’s 200 IM. Coutts will have to post a sub-2:10 if she wants to beat American Melanie Margalis, who has now become the fastest in the event after hiding in the shadows for a few years. Margalis could be motivated to break 2:09 if Coutts gives her the pace to do so. I suspect DiRado will be the second American in the field, and is on the cusp of a 2:09 as well.

Kanako Watanabe of Japan could be in the hunt, as could 2010 champion Emily Seebohm, who broke 2:10 for the first time on the way to winning gold four year ago.

Women’s individual medley predictions:
200:
Gold
Alicia Coutts, Australia
Silver: Melanie Margalis, USA
Bronze: Maya DiRado, USA

400:
Gold:
Elizabeth Beisel, USA
Silver: Maya DiRado, USA
Bronze: Miho Takahashi, Japan

Previous Pan Pacs medal predictions:

400 and 800 freestyle

100 and 200 butterfly

6 Comments

6 comments

  1. You Are Forgetting Somebody...

    Wow, not even a MENTION of the guy who just won the 400 IM at USA Nationals and got 3rd in the 200 IM?!? And who also won the 200 Backstroke and won silver in the 200 Butterfly?! Making his lowest finish of the meet a bronze medal?!? His names Tyler Clary, Swimming World. He has an Olympic gold medal and Olympic record under his belt from 2012. His 3rd place finish at Olympic Trials that year (with a fever) in the 400 IM would have placed him 3rd at the Olympic Games. Maybe you just haven’t heard of him, which makes you a pretty crappy outlet of swimming news. Wake up from your Phelps Hangover since he’s already on his way out (Great guy and he did a lot for the sport, and we will never see an athlete like Phelps when he was in his prime during the remainder of our lifetimes. But we all know he has nothing more to gain, and the more he competes the more he just hurts himself.) Time to start giving the other guys a little more credit as well…

    • Jeff Commings

      I have a feeling Tyler will be out of medal contention based on what the top four have done this year and last year. I think his 4:09 from nationals surprisingly could be fifth at this meet. But I have made a bit of an edit on that paragraph above.

      • Rafael

        I think pereira might do a little better than 2013.. more like 2012.. on 2013 it was not his best year, he focused on his wedding and he passes almost half a year without a club to train.. he was training alone most of the time and without full acess to facillities..

      • Duncan

        Whew! Now THAT’S berating!

  2. David Rieder

    On the women’s side, I mostly agree, though I’m really interested how the U.S. girls in the 200 stack up. I feel like Leverenz has more in the tank based on track record, but we’ll see. In the 400, I know I’ve been saying it a ton, but Beisel has to break Hoff’s American record eventually. Could be here. Certainly by next year. She has been swimming really well this year – slip nonwithstanding – so it’s doable. Maybe even break into the 200 IM mix.

    As for the men, not sure what order I’d go, but that’s my 400 IM podium as well. Clary swam great at Nationals, no doubt – and I’d pick him ahead of Pereira – but those top three look good. I think Kalisz has a lot left in the tank from Nationals.

  3. Wahooswimfan

    400 IM – I too think this is Clary’s race – he showed guts coming back against Kalisz on the free leg after he had been caught – I think he drops in a 4:07+ for the gold, leaving Hagino and Kalisz battling for silver and bronze, though if Phelps and Lochte post fast 200 free times on day 1 and look like locks for the relay final (along with Dwyer and Mclean), Weiss could well opt to swim the 400 IM – he has been 4:12 so he’s not that far out of it, and he might see this as another potential opportunity for worlds.
    In the 200 IM – I think its the Phelps/Lochte show again, pick’em for gold and silver, with the bronze going to a swimmer (Hagino) who would not have won the B final (Dwyer win’s the B with the third fastest IM time)

Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the host of several shows on SwimmingWorld.TV, including "The Morning Swim Show," which features interviews with people making headlines in aquatic sports. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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