TOKYO — For Americans Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel, Saturday was a better day at the Pan Pacific Championships after unexpected losses earlier at the four-day meet.
The Pan Pacs are the biggest meet of the year for countries bordering the Pacific, and a dry run for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ledecky, the Olympic and world champion and world record-holder in the 400 freestyle, won that race in 3 minutes 58.50 seconds, the sixth fastest time ever at the distance. She has the 10 fastest times ever in the event.
The win made up for finishing third on Thursday in the 200 freestyle, a rare loss for the reigning Olympic champion in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle.
"It didn't feel good, the 200, but I'm feeling better each session," said Ledecky, who acknowledged many of the Americans have had trouble beating jet-lag.
Australian Ariarne Titmus finished second in 3:59.66, breaking the four-minute barrier in a fabric suit.
Dressel, who won seven gold medals last year at the world championships, is billed as the next star in the post-Michael Phelps era.
He was beaten Friday in the 100 freestyle, but came back Saturday to win the 100 butterfly in 50.75, just 0.25 off his season's best, which is also the best in the world this year.
Chase Kalisz picked up another victory for the United States, taking the 200 individual medley in 1:55.40. Kalisz also won the 400 IM on Thursday.
Japan produced several key victories, underlining the Olympic hosts will be ready in the pool in two years.
The big star was 18-year-old Rikako Ikee, who won the 100 butterfly in a blistering time of 56.08. It was the fastest time in the world this year, even ahead of the dominant racer at this distance — Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, the Olympic champion, world champion, and world record-holder.