THE United States has grabbed four of the eight gold medals up for grabs on day one of the Pan Pacific Championships on Thursday night.
Night one at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre also saw US teen sensation Katie Ledecky produce the swim of the night, missing her own world record in the 800m freestyle by just 0.35 of a second.
In the women’s 200m freestyle, dual Olympian Bronte Barratt got Australia on the board with silver.
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“I’m really happy,” Barratt said of her swim which she clocked in 1:57.22.
“Obviously it wasn’t the quickest time but I’m still happy. I think I put in a quick 50 and I came home with a silver medal so I’m pretty happy.”
World beating Katie Ledecky of the USA won gold in a new Pan Pacs record time of 1:55.74.
In the men’s event, Gold Coaster Thomas Fraser-Holmes won gold in a thrilling race to the wall.
With nothing separating the top five swimmers over the last lap, Fraser-Holmes put his head down in the last 15 metres and touched out Japan’s Kosuke Hagino to finish first in 1:45.98.
“It helps to have long arms,” the 22-year-old said with a laugh.
“That last lap was crazy. When I touched the wall…it was something special and something that I am really proud of.
Team mate and fellow local Cameron McEvoy charged home for Australia to come away with bronze.
Australia’s Emily Seebohm owned the women’s 100m backstroke, claiming gold in a time of 58.84, beating her own Pan Pacs and Australian All-Comers record in the process.
In the swim of the night world record holder Katie Ledecky went two-from-two, adding gold in the 800m backstroke to her earlier win in the 200m.
The reigning Olympic Champion in the event, Ledecky took an unassailable early lead and was sitting inside world record pace right up until the end of the 16-lap endurance race.
Ledecky, who smashed the 400m freestyle world record at the US Nationals last week, clocked 8:11.35 – just 0.35secs outside her own world mark of 8:11.00 set in Texas in June.
After the first night of finals, the United States is in first on the medal tally with a total of 10 medals, 4 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze.
Australia is in second with a total of 6 medals, 2 of each.