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Pan Pacific Swimming Championships TV, streaming schedule

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The Pan Pacific Championships, this year’s major international swim meet and the determinant of the U.S. team for the 2019 World Championships, airs live on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA this week.

All Olympic Channel coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app, OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app for subscribers.

NBC airs Pan Pacs highlights Saturday and Sunday.

The U.S., led by Katie LedeckySimone Manuel, Lilly KingCaeleb Dressel and Chase Kalisz, takes on non-European nations including swim powers Australia and Japan.

Results at the meet in Tokyo can be viewed in three ways:

  • Pure racing for gold, silver and bronze medals.
  • Comparing times with the ongoing European Championships and Asian Games later this month to determine the fastest swimmers in the world this year.
  • Ranking the top two Americans per individual Olympic event to see who makes the 2019 World Championships team. Worlds spots go to the swimmers with the best times from either finals at nationals two weeks ago or the A or B finals from Pan Pacs.

The last bullet creates a competition within the competition for the U.S., which earned more than three times as many swimming medals as the second-place nation at the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Worlds.

The top matchups between the U.S. and other nations at Pan Pacs: women’s backstrokes (Kathleen Baker vs. Canadians Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck), women’s 200m freestyle (Ledecky vs. Ruck) and men’s individual medleys (Kalisz vs. Japanese Kosuke Hagino and Daiya Seto).

Ledecky swept the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m frees, plus anchored the victorious 4x200m free relay at this meet four years ago. She is favored to win all of those events again in Tokyo.

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MORE: Chase Kalisz, among Floyd, swim stardom, Waffle House, at home in Athens

Date Time (ET) Network
Thursday 5-8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
Friday 6-8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
Saturday 5:30-8 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
4-6 p.m. NBC
Sunday 5-8:30 a.m. Olympic Channel (LIVE)
4-6 p.m. NBC

Hirscher leads by 0.56 seconds after first run in World Champs slalom

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Marcel Hirscher swept into the finish area and wagged his finger triumphantly in front of the camera.

The message was clear: The ski king is back.

The Austrian produced an emphatic response to relinquishing his giant slalom title two days earlier at the world championships by taking a 0.56-second lead after the first run of the slalom on Sunday.

Only Alexis Pinturault of France was within a second of Hirscher, who was on course to win a record-tying seventh career gold medal at the worlds.

Marco Schwarz of Austria was in third place, 1.22 seconds off the lead.

Hirscher, the seven-time overall World Cup champion, showed no ill-effects from the cold that has been affecting him this week. After the giant slalom on Friday, he said he would be going straight back to bed to rest up for the slalom.

He looked in good working order on Sunday.

As the third skier on the course, Hirscher took 1.70 seconds off No. 2 starter Henrik Kristoffersen, who beat Hirscher to GS gold on Friday, and more than two seconds off Clement Noel, who came to the worlds in form after wins in Wengen and Kitzbuehel.

Save for Hirscher crashing, only Pinturault looks capable to denying the Austrian a third slalom gold at the worlds — something only the great Ingemar Stenmark has achieved. Pinturault was only 0.06 seconds behind Hirscher at the third checkpoint but he went wide at the first turn on the final descent and lost half a second.

“I’m still in the fight,” Pinturault said, “and still have a chance in the second leg. That’s the essential (thing).”

Daniel Yule of Switzerland was 0.28 behind Hirscher at the last split before falling at the start to the final descent.

Hirscher also won the slalom at the 2013 and 2017 worlds. A seventh career gold at the worlds would tie the men’s record held by compatriot Toni Sailer from the late 1950s.

Austria, a storied Alpine skiing nation, needs Hirscher to deliver in the final event to avoid finishing the world championships without a gold medal for the first time since Crans Montana, Switzerland, in 1987. The women’s team has already finished with no medals and that hasn’t happened since Schladming, Austria, in 1982.

Watch an encore presentation of the first run on NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET. The second and deciding run can be seen live starting at 8:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

Mikaela Shiffrin proving she’s in league of her own

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There are ski racers, and then there is Mikaela Shiffrin.

NBC Sports essayist Tim Layden calls Shiffrin the “rarest creature,” a prodigy who continues to get better with age.

Shiffrin’s stardom took off with her heart-stopping slalom gold medal in the 2014 Olympics. It looked like she would ascend to an even higher level four years later in PyeongChang when she claimed a gold medal in the giant slalom, but then she lost a battle with her nerves and failed to win a medal in the slalom. She did capture a silver in the combined event.

That Olympic disappointment has fueled her historic World Cup season. She became the youngest skier to pass the 50 win mark. She broke the women’s career record for slalom victories, and she became the first skier ever to win four-straight world championship titles in a single event.

A true prodigy indeed.