US relay team stripped of gold after epic blunder at Pan Pacs

The US men’s relay team has been brutally denied a gold medal at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo after a ridiculous mistake.

The team of Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Nathan Adrian won the 4x100m freestyle relay – only for the team to be disqualified for swimming out of order, gifting the gold to Brazil.

It was a costly mistake for the team, who swam a meet record time of 3:11.67, to absolutely blitz the field.

According to website, the American coaches told the team the wrong order to swim in, leaving the swimmers jumping into the water at the wrong time.

Apple swam the second leg instead of the third, while Pieroni swam the third instead of the second.

Gold medallists (L-R) US swimmer Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Zachary Apple and Nathan Adrian pose on the podium of the 400m Free Relay men final of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 2018 in Tokyo, they were later disqualified. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

The brutal mistake was good news for the Aussie swim team however, as the group of Jack Cartwright, Alexander Graham, James Roberts and Kyle Chalmers were elevated to a silver medal after the US team were stripped of its medal.

However it was a rare slip up for an American team which dominated on Saturday as Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel and Chase Kalisz all won gold for Team USA.

Not to be outdone, hosts Japan captured two titles through Rikako Ikee and Yui Ohashi but their American rivals continued to rule the roost, ruthlessly signalling their intent two years out from the 2020 Olympics.

Hot favourite Ledecky stormed to victory in the women’s 400m freestyle, recording the sixth-fastest time ever to make up for the American’s disappointment in the 200m.

The five-time Olympic gold medallist flirted with her own world record before touching in 3:58.50 with Australia’s Commonwealth Games champ Ariarne Titmus also ducking under four minutes to take silver.

Katie Ledecky stormed to victory in the 400m freestyle at the Pan Pacific swimming championships (AFP Photo/Martin BUREAU)

“I know how to swim this race like the back of my hand,” said Ledecky, who eased to victory in the 800m freestyle earlier in the week but was stunned by Canada’s teen sensation Taylor Ruck in the 200m.

“I just took confidence from that. It didn’t feel good, the 200m, but I’m not swimming angry, I’m swimming happy.”

Dressel, who last year became only the second swimmer to win seven gold medals at a single world championships after Michael Phelps in 2007, flexed his muscles in the men’s 100m butterfly as he powered to victory in a Pan Pacific-best 50.75.

“I was happy with that,” Dressel told AFP after breaking Phelps’s old championship record.

“I can’t ask for anything more,” added the American, beaten by Australia’s Kyle Chalmers in Friday’s 100m freestyle final.

“I had no idea what the record was. That wasn’t on my mind — you shouldn’t be racing for time, you should be racing to get your hands on the wall first.”

Fellow American Jack Conger (51.32) took silver and Brazil’s Vini Lanza (51.44) bronze.

Dressel returned to help the United States win the 4x100m freestyle relay — only for the team to be disqualified for swimming out of order, gifting the gold to Brazil.

Australia’s Cate Campbell (C) has swum the second fastest women’s 100m freestyle in history

Campbell powers to third gold at Pan Pacs

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 in Tokyo 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 three minutes, 31.58 seconds – 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 in Tokyo 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 Tokyo 2020 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.

Olympic and world champion Ledecky was forced to hold out Titmus and claim gold in 3:58.50.

Titmus eclipsed her previous national record of 4:00.93.

Australia’s 4x100m freestyle men’s team of Kyle Chalmers, Alex Graham, Jack Cartwright and James Roberts were gifted silver when winners the US were disqualified.

The Americans clocked a championship record (3:11.67) but received a dreaded DQ after Zach Apple and Blake Pieroni swam in the wrong order.

Mitch Larkin claimed 200m individual medley silver in a new national mark (1:56.21).

And Emma McKeon took 100m butterfly bronze.

Associated Press with AAP