THE US 4×100 freestyle relay team was celebrating a gold medal at the Pan Pacific Championships last night but the party was cut short – and the Americans only have themselves to blame.
Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Nathan Adrian blitzed the field with a meet record time of 3:11.67 in Tokyo on Saturday and posed for photos with their gold medals on top of the podium, but those snaps aren’t looking so happy now.
The team was disqualified for swimming out of order as swimmers jumped into the water when they shouldn’t have. According to swimming news site swimswam.com, coaches told the Americans the wrong order in which they were racing.
Apple swam the second leg and Pieroni was third off the blocks but they were reportedly supposed to go the other way around.
America’s disqualification paved the way for Brazil to take gold after Pedro Spajari anchored the South Americans to second place with a blistering split of 49.94 – the fastest leg of any swimmer in the relay final.
The Australian team, consisting of Jack Cartwright, Alexander Graham, James Roberts and Kyle Chalmers was promoted to the silver medal position and Japan, who initially finished out of the medals, won bronze.
CAMPBELL BACK TO WINNING WAYS
Winning is clearly no longer an issue for Cate Campbell. After laying her Rio ghosts to rest, Campbell has taken her personal tally to three gold at the Pan Pacs by inspiring Australia to a 4x100m freestyle relay win on Saturday.
Campbell powered home in the final leg over world champion Simone Manuel of the United States as Australia clinched relay gold in 3:31.58 – a new championship record.
Campbell, Emily Seebohm, Shayna Jack and Emma McKeon finished almost two seconds ahead of world champions the US.
Australia – the reigning Olympic champions and world record holders – were fourth after Seebohm’s first leg. But Jack and McKeon chipped away to ensure Australia hit the water for the final leg in second – and Campbell did the rest.
Winning used to be a touchy subject for Campbell after taking 2017 off to cope with her shock sixth placing in the Rio 100m final.
But Campbell now can’t stop climbing to the top of the podium at the biggest meet since her 2016 meltdown.
She’s on track for five Pan Pacs gold with the 50m freestyle and medley relay on Sunday’s final day.
Campbell lifted Australia’s overall haul to six gold, 10 silver and three bronze on the second-last night of the four-day meet – well behind world No. 1 United States’ 11 gold, eight silver and nine bronze.
Campbell was still buzzing from claiming 100m freestyle gold on Friday, finally exorcising her Rio demons.
The former world champion also inspired Australia’s mixed medley relay victory on Thursday’s opening night.
Australia’s Jack McLoughlin also grabbed gold on night three, upsetting Olympic champion Mack Horton to claim the men’s 400m freestyle title. Commonwealth 1500m champ McLoughlin pipped a fast-finishing Horton by 0.11 of a second.
“I definitely tried (to reel him in) but if I’m going to come second to anyone by that much I’m glad it’s Jack,” Horton said.
Earlier, Australia’s Ariarne Titmus lay down the gauntlet to American great Katie Ledecky ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by claiming 400m freestyle silver. Titmus, 17, became only the third woman to crack the four-minute barrier, clocking 3:59.66 to eclipse her own national mark of 4:00.93.
Olympic and world champion Ledecky was forced to hold out Titmus and claim gold in 3:58.50.
Mitch Larkin claimed 200m individual medley silver in a new national mark (1:56.21).