The Americans and the Europeans each have added a new member to their Duel in the Pool rosters on Friday.
For the United States, that addition is Michael Klueh, a member of the World Championships roster, and for the Europeans, that is Serb Velimir Stjepanovic.
Klueh will add a badly-needed middle-distance/distance swimmer to the American squad. With no Connor Jaeger on the team, the Americans are missing their best chance at winning the 400 freestyle on the men’s side against the likes of James Guy and Robbie Renwick for the Europeans (though, neither side is really that deep at all in the event).
Klueh, who is very good in short course, has a chance at knocking them both off, as does Conor Dwyer if he ends up swimming the 400 free. Klueh probably also contributes to the 200 and 1500 freestyles individually.
Stjepanovic, who is a Serbian national who was raised and trains in Dubai, didn’t have a great meet at the World Championships, failing to final in any of his events. He did place 6th in the 200 fly at the Olympics, though, and is fairly versatile to swim some freestyle events as well. He will certainly contend, at least, for the win in the 200 fly, as a Phelps-less American squad has nobody who is a ‘lock’ in the 200 fly.