By Paul D. Bowker | Aug. 10, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Katie Ledecky competes in the women's 800m freestyle at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships on Aug. 9, 2018 in Tokyo.


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Katie Ledecky has already won six Olympic medals, including five gold medals. She also has five gold medals from the Pan Pacific Championships, her latest coming Thursday in the 800-meter freestyle as the competition got underway in Tokyo.

Following the successful defense of her 800 free title at Pan Pacs – breaking her own meet record in the process – Ledecky will be going after repeat titles in the women’s 400- and 1,500-meter freestyle races.

That’s just one of the many storylines for this weekend’s Pan Pacific Championships. The meet is crucial for U.S. swimmers hoping to make the 2019 world championship team. Results from the Pan Pacs combined with results from last month’s national championships will be used to determine the roster for the world championships.

Swimmers can enter any race at Pan Pacs, though there is a limit of two per country in the final.

The first group of finals was Thursday night, and the meet will also include finals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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The competition is packed with Olympic gold medalists, including Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Kathleen Baker, Allison Schmitt, Nathan Adrian and Matt Grevers.

A long list of rising U.S. stars includes 2016 Olympian Chase Kalisz, who was unbeaten in three races in the six-meet TYR Pro Swim Series, and Michael Andrew, who has been impressive in the men’s 50-meter freestyle and other sprint distances.

Baker, who won two medals in her Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio, set a world record in the women’s 100-meter backstroke at the Phillips 66 National Championships. The 100 back final is Friday.

Other finals Friday include men’s and women’s 100 freestyle and 200 butterfly. Saturday’s finals include Ledecky in the women’s 400 free, 100 fly and 400 IM. Among the finals on Sunday are the men’s and women’s 50 free, 200 backstroke, 200 breast, medley relay and Ledecky in the women’s 1,500 free.

The open water competition includes Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson in the women’s 5-kilometer. 

TV: 6 a.m. ET Friday, 5:30 a.m. Saturday, 5 a.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel; 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, NBC

Webcast: 6 a.m. Friday, 6 a.m. Saturday, 6 a.m. Sunday,

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc