Australia v USA showdowns in blue ribband 100m freestyle events

10 August 2018
Kyle Chalmers

Day two will see both men’s and women’s 100m freestyle events – races that have captured the imagination of swimming fans since Jenna Johnson and Matt Biondi both won the first titles in 1985 in Tokyo.

Women’s 100m freestyle

The women’s 100m freestyle will feature a host of Australians spearheaded by former world record holder, defending champion and the only Australian to win this race, Cate Campbell.
She will be joined by Commonwealth Games gold medal winning relay compatriots Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack as well as Brianna Throssell, Maddie Groves and Ariarne Titmus.
But only the top two Aussies can make this final with the third fastest qualifying for the B final- making it imperative they all swim fast heats.
It will also determine the all important 4x100 metre relay spots.
For Campbell it will present another opportunity to race some of the fastest girls in the world - with top seeded American, Olympic champion Simone Manuel the favourite after her American record breaking swim at the recent US Trials.
At her best Campbell will be locked in a real battle with Manuel in a race that has been dominated by the US and Australia since the first Pan Pacs in 1985.
McKeon dropped the 200 metes freestyle yesterday after deciding to concentrate on the individual sprint events for this preparation.
Curtailed by shoulder issues in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games and a lack of training volume and a new stroke may see McKeon very much in this mix.
Campbell’s training partner Jack will be looking for a fast time in the heats to lock in a place in what will a very competitive final.

Women’s 100m freestyle winners

1985 Jenna Johnson (USA)
1987 Dara Torres (USA)
1989 Zhuang Yong (CHN)
1991 Angel Martino (USA)
1993 Jenny Thompson (USA)
1995 Jenny Thompson (USA)
1997 Jenny Thompson (USA)
1999 Jenny Thompson (USA)
2002 Natalie Coughlin (USA)
2006 Natalie Coughlin (USA)
2010 Natalie Coughlin (USA)
2014 Cate Campbell (AUS)
The US and Australia have had some great showdowns between the who's who of great Olympic and World Champions in men’s sprint events over time and the 2018 Pan Pacs will be the next chapter of one of the great swimming rivalries.
For Australia it will see 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers joined by noted sprinters, Rio Olympic relay bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games relay gold medallist James Roberts and rising star Jack Cartwright with Alex Graham, Clyde Lewis and Elijah Winnington all looking for pbs.
Chalmers will be backing up after the 200 metres on day one as he continues to work on what is now developing into a multi-event program for the big South Australian.
The 19-year-old is relaxed and excited and admits he loves a challenge.
The US will be led by World Champion Caleb Dressell and 2012 Olympic champion Nathan Adrian and US National champion Blake Pieroni.
They too have a host of swimmers hot on their heals all determined to make their mark as they did at the US Trials.
The Americans have dominated the men’s 100m freestyle except between 1997 and 2002 when Michael Klim and Ian Thorpe flew the Aussie flag and 2014 when Cam McEvoy beat 2012 Olympic champion Nathan Adrian and fellow Aussie James Magnussen.

Men’s 100m freestyle winners

 1985 Matt Biondi (USA)
1987 Matt Biondi (USA)
1989 Brent Lang (USA)
1991 Matt Biondi (USA)
1993 Jon Olsen (USA)
1995 Gary Hall Jnr (USA)
1997 Michael Klim (AUS)
1999 Michael Klim (AUS)
2002 Ian Thorpe (AUS)
2006 Brent Hayden (CAN)
2010 Nathan Adrian (USA)
2014 Cam McEvoy (AUS)

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