2019 Pan American Games: Charlie Swanson Earns First U.S. Gold Medal of the Night in Men’s 400 IM

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Charlie Swanson earned the U.S. its first gold medal of the night in the men’s 400 IM, cruising to a 4:11.46 for a decisive victory. Attaining a commanding lead early on, Swanson made the race all his own, barely eclipsing the meet record of 4:11.14 set by Thiago Pereira. The race was certainly no disappointment, however, as Swanson cinched the States’ first gold in this event since Robert Margalis in 2003, all while surging ahead of the competition.

It was Brazil’s Leonardo Coelho who gave Swanson the biggest run, clocking in at 4:19.41 to beat his compatriot, Brandonn Almeida (4:21.10) by nearly two seconds. Ecuador forced its name on the scene with an impressive performance from Tom Peribonio, whose time of 4:22.21 barely missed the podium. Jarod Arroyo of Puerto Rico had an equally impressive showing, though his time of 4:22.87 wasn’t quite enough to attain his country’s first Pan American medal since 1991.

Hector Ruvalcaba of Mexico headed the final wave with a time of 4:24.18, as he and Guatemala’s Erick Gordillo (4:25.62) traded leads. Colombia’s Santiago Corredor topped off the individual event schedule with a 4:35.44.

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