60 of the United States’ top swimmers, including Olympic gold medallists and world record holders Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Katie Ledecky and Ryan Lochte are set to represent Team USA at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia this week.
Featuring the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan and 14 other Pan Pacific nations, the four-day pool competition runs through Sunday at the Gold Coast Aquatic Center, while the 10-kilometer open water event follows Monday, Aug. 25 at the Southport Marine Stadium.
Team USA features a mix of Olympic veterans and newcomers to the international scene.
In all 26 Olympians, including 17 gold medallists, will represent the U.S. in Australia.
In addition to Phelps, Franklin, Ledecky and Lochte, individual Olympic gold medalists Nathan Adrian, Tyler Clary, Anthony Ervin and Matt Grevers will also compete.
“I’m excited to see what I can do,” said Ledecky, who is visiting Australia for the first time. “It should be a great environment for some good racing.”
Just two weeks ago at USA Swimming’s Nationals, Ledecky set her third world record of the summer in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 3 minutes, 58.86 seconds. She also holds the 800m and 1500m free marks.
Phelps is making his fourth career Pan Pacs appearance (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014), while 38 members of Team USA will compete at the event for the first time.
“Swimming in Australia is something special, not only because this is where I had my first Olympics, my first really big international meet, but just because of the excitement level that people have for the sport in Australia is something that you don’t see anywhere else,” said Phelps, who made his Olympic debut as a 15-year-old in Sydney in 2000.
The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships are held under the oversight of the Pan Pacific Swimming Association. The Association was established in the mid-1980s and is made up of the four founding swimming federations – Swimming Australia, Swimming Canada, the Japan Amateur Swimming Federation and USA Swimming.
These charter nations developed the concept of the swimming competition to provide their national teams with first-class international competition between the two major international swimming competitions – the Olympic Games and the FINA World Championships.