Duel in the Pool swimming competition set for December
The Duel in the Pool, which is becoming swimming’s version of the Ryder Cup, will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, on Dec. 20-21, according to Swimming World.
It reports this year’s duel will pit a U.S. team against European all-stars, the same format as the previous two editions in 2009 (Manchester, England) and 2011 (Atlanta). The first three duels were U.S.-Australia battles during the heyday of their rivalry in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
In Glasgow, swimmers will compete in short-course meters (25-meter pool rather than 50 in the Olympics) at the venue that will be used for the Commonwealth Games next July and August, according to the report.
USA Swimming confirmed the dates but no additional details. An announcement is expected Thursday.
The U.S. is not allowed in the Commonwealth Games, and there are no long-course World Championships until 2015. There are short-course World Championships in December 2014 in Doha, Qatar.
If history is any indication, this will be the most star-studded swim meet between now and the Pan Pacific Championships in August.
In 2011, the U.S. whipped Europe, 181.5 to 80.5 points, thanks to a roster that included Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer. The biggest absences were Michael Phelps , Allison Schmitt and Nathan Adrian.
The European team included Olympic medalists Laszlo Cseh, Daniel Gyurta and Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands). But it was missing more stars than the U.S., including Yannick Agnel and Camille Muffat (France) and Federica Pellegrini (Italy).
Perhaps the format should be tinkered with in the future given the U.S. has won all five duels.
A U.S.-Asia duel could be much closer than the 2011 blowout, given Japan and China were second and third to the U.S. in the 2012 Olympic swimming medal count. Australia, though, caught up again at the 2013 World Championships. If China was involved, the two best male swimmers in the world could go head to head: Lochte and Sun Yang.
It will be interesting to see which swimmers show up in Scotland in December.
Franklin will be on break from her freshman year at California. Will she want to spend some of that time so far away from her Colorado home?
Quadruple 2013 worlds gold medalist Katie Ledecky will also be on a break, from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md., where she is a junior.
Who knows where Lochte will be. It’s been reported he hopes to spend four months training in Australia beginning this fall, but he has yet to leave the U.S.