Duel in the Pool

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The Duel in the Pool is a swimming event that began in 2003. The competition pits swimming stars from two nations to see which is the best across a series of events.

The concept was revealed by USA Swimming in 2003 as a way to develop the rivalry between the world's two largest swimming powerhouse nations: Australia and the United States. Following three consecutive American victories, the format was discontinued in favor of a matchup between Americans and an all-star team from various European nations.

The event has been compared to golf's Ryder Cup.[1][2]

2003-2007: United States vs. Australia[edit]


At the inaugural event Mutual of Omaha/Fujitsu Duel in the Pool in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 6, 2003, the Americans overwhelmed the Australians, 196-74, winning 21 of the 26 events. This result set the stage for Team USA's dominant performance at both the 2003 World Championships and later the 2004 Olympics in Athens.[3]


On August 2, 2005, the United States captured victories in 18 of the 28 events in front of the sold-out crowd of 2,600 in Irvine, California. The US won 190-102, although the Australians rode a wave of talent on the women's side, outscoring the American women 76-70.[4]


For more details on this topic, see 2007 Duel in the Pool.

The 2007 Duel in the Pool between the US and Australia took place in Sydney, Australia on April 3, 2007. The United States won their third straight Duel in the Pool, with a score of 181.5 points to Australia's 129.5.[5]

Libby Lenton became the first woman to beat the 53 second mark in the 100 metre freestyle, beating the previous world record by 0.31 seconds with a time of 52.99. At the time, she was racing against American Michael Phelps, who clocked in at 48.72 seconds. However, due to the nature of the relay in question not being recognised as an official by the world governing body (FINA), her time was not ratified as a world record.[6]

2009-Present: United States vs. Europe[edit]


For more details on this topic, see 2009 Duel in the Pool.

The event took place December 19–20, 2009 between the USA and a combined British, German and Italian team swimming under the team name E-Stars in Manchester, England. The final score was a 185–78 victory for the USA with eight world records set during the competition. This meet marked the last major competition where polyurethane suits were worn, with the required use of textile suits being reinstated January 1, 2010.[7]


For more details on this topic, see 2011 Duel in the Pool.

The 2011 Duel in the Pool was held December 16–17, 2011, in Atlanta, using venues from the 1996 Olympic Games. The Americans defeated a European All-Star team from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, Belarus, Denmark, Austria, Ireland, Lithuania and Hungary, 181.5-80.5.[8]


The 2013 Duel in the Pool was held December 20-21, 2013. Glasgow, Scotland served as host in advance of hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Like previous editions, the competition will took place in a short course pool. The US team defeated the European All-Stars in the closest meet of its history. Resulting in a tie between the two teams, they had to have a tie-breaker mixed 200 medley relay. The team of Eugene Godsoe, Kevin Cordes, Claire Donahue, and Simone Manuel beat the Europeans in a time of 1:31.17. The final score was 132-131.[9]