Katie Ledecky Starts Off Pan Pacs With 800 Free Gold

Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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Katie Ledecky was out fast in her first final at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo. Under world record pace. She was hanging on to that 8:04 pace by a thread until about the 600 mark when she slowly fell off that pace.

Ledecky ended up well off her world record with an 8:09.13 for a new meet record. That old record was the 8:11.35 she set in Australia in 2014.

Ledecky was off her number one time this year from her 8:07.27 from the Indianapolis Pro Swim Series, but it was enough for her to win her second straight Pan Pac title.

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus finished in the silver medal with a 8:17.07, just holding off American Leah Smith (8:17.21). Titmus and Smith are now third and fourth in the world rankings after Italy’s Simona Quadarella (8:16.45). Titmus’s time is also a new Australian record, lowering Jessica Ashwood’s 8:18.14 from 2016 Santa Clara Pro Swim Series.

The rest of the field was way back as Australia’s Kiah Melverton (8:25.64), Japan’s Waka Kobori (8:31.89), Canada’s Mackenzie Padington (8:34.49), Japan’s Yukimi Moriyama (8:41.44) and China’s Zhang Ke (8:44.17) also competed in tonight’s “A-Final.”

Notably from this morning, American Erica Sullivan posted her best time with an 8:26.27. Americans Haley Anderson (8:27.13) and Ashley Wall (8:29.36) also posted times in the top eight.

Australia’s Madeline Gough (8:27.28) placed seventh from her swim this morning.

World Rankings:

  1. Katie Ledecky, USA, 8:07.27
  2. Simona Quadarella, ITA, 8:16.45
  3. Ariarne Titmus, AUS, 8:17.07
  4. Leah Smith, USA, 8:17.21
  5. Wang Jianjiahe, CHN, 8:18.09
  6. Sarah Kohler, GER, 8:20.53
  7. Ajna Kesely, HUN, 8:22.01
  8. Haley Anderson, USA, 8:24.13

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