Kathleen Baker Crushes 200 Back Final At Pan Pacs

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The United States has won its third straight gold medal on the last night of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo. Kathleen Baker took the 200 back final out hard and she never relinquished her lead. She was swimming against four other swimmers that joined her in the World Championship final last summer in Budapest and she showed no fear and dominated the rest of the field for the gold medal.

Baker won the final at 2:06.14, breaking Elizabeth Pelton‘s meet record of 2:07.48 from 2010. Baker held off a late push from Canada’s Taylor Ruck, who finished with the silver at 2:06.41, out-touching Regan Smith for bronze. Smith was third at 2:06.46, slightly off her 2:06.43 from Nationals.

Baker is now second in the world sitting behind Canada’s Kylie Masse’s 2:05.98 from the Commonwealth Games. Baker is now tenth all-time in the event, moving past Elizabeth Beisel (2:06.18, 2012) and sitting just behind Margaret Hoelzer (2:06.09, 2008).

Masse was slower in Tokyo with her 2:07.00 as she finished in fourth. The Australian duo of Kaylee McKeown (2:07.01) and Emily Seebohm (2:07.12) ran out of gas as they finished fifth and sixth in the stacked final.

Japan’s Natsumi Sakai (2:08.18) and New Zealand’s Ali Galyer (2:10.26) also competed in the final.

2018 World Rankings:

  1. Kylie Masse, CAN, 2:05.98
  2. Kathleen Baker, USA, 2:06.14
  3. Margherita Panziera, ITA, 2:06.18
  4. Taylor Ruck, CAN 2:06.36
  5. Regan Smith, USA, 2:06.43
  6. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 2:06.82
  7. Kaylee McKeown, AUS, 2:07.01
  8. Daria Ustinova, RUS, 2:07.12

All-Time Rankings:

7. Maya DiRado, USA, 2:05.99 (2016)
8. Belinda Hocking, AUS, 2:06.06 (2011)
9. Margaret Hoelzer, USA, 2:06.09 (2008)
10. Kathleen Baker, USA, 2:06.14 (2018)
11. Elizabeth Beisel, USA, 2:06.18 (2012)
11. Margherita Panziera, ITA, 2:06.18 (2018)
13. Elizabeth Pelton, USA, 2:06.29 (2013)


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