2022 Duel in the Pool: Australia Edges U.S. in Mixed 4×800 Open Water Relay


  • Friday, August 19 – Sunday, August 21, 2022
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (pool swimming, Aug. 20-21)
  • Bondi Beach (open water, Aug. 19)
  • Start Times
    • Friday – open water: 9:00 am local / 7:00 pm ET on Thursday
    • Saturday – 7:00 pm local / 5:00 am ET
    • Sunday – 7:00 pm local / 5:00 am ET
  • LCM (50m)
  • Meet Central
  • How to Watch

The United States started off its 2022 Duel in the Pool showdown with a narrow loss to Australia in the mixed 4×800-meter open water relay on Friday morning at Bondi Beach. 

The quartet of Chelsea Gubecka, Kareena Lee, Kai Edwards, and Kyle Lee pulled off the victory to give the Aussies an 8-6 edge after the lone session on day one. It was the first open water event in the history of the Duel in the Pool.

The U.S. went with a different order, represented by Charlie Clark, David Johnston, Bella Sims, and Tylor Mathieu. The Americans’ front-loaded strategy made for an exciting chase down at the finish. 

Kyle Lee, the only non-Olympian on the Aussie relay, entered the water 18 seconds behind Mathieu and overtook her with 20 meters remaining to secure the win.

“My team put me in a very good position,” said Lee, 20, who will also swim the broken freestyle this weekend. “I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get them but I just tried to do my best and catch them. It was a pretty close finish. Once I went past Tylor I could see that she was still at my feet so I knew I couldn’t back off at the end.”

Clark, who attended the last Duel in the Pool seven years ago as a middle schooler, called the experience a dream come true despite the defeat.

“It was so fun getting to swim a race in such an iconic place like Bondi Beach,” said Clark, a rising junior at Ohio State. “It is honestly a dream come true to do this. It’s been an amazing opportunity to represent Team USA. I went to the last Duel in the Pool they had in 2015 in Indianapolis, and I watched. It was two weeks before our middle school championship and I wanted to get some motivation. So, to be able to compete for Team USA the next time they have Duel in the Pool, it’s like what I said before, a dream come true.”

Johnston, the second American in the water, enjoyed the casual yet competitive atmosphere that featured conversations with opponents before the relay began. 

“It was cool to be able to talk to the Aussie before we swam, making friends in the midst of battle,” said Johnston, a rising junior at the University of Texas. “I haven’t done much open water racing, but I used the nerves to my advantage. This was a good warmup for pool racing.”

The 17-year-old Sims cruised on the third leg, saying her 800 length felt more like a 600. 

“That 800 felt really good, almost like it was only a 600,” said Sims, a Sandpipers of Nevada standout who previously represented Team USA at June’s World Championships. “It’s always an honor to represent Team USA. I love this team so much. It is an honor to rep the stars and stripes.”

For Mathieu, it was her first time representing the U.S. on the international level. 

“It was a lot of fun, I do not have a lot of open water experience, so it was fun to gain it,” said Mathieu, a soon-to-be senior at the University of Florida. “It was my first international competition, so it was very exciting to compete for Team USA. I’m going to build on that performance, I think I swam well so I am going to try and put up some good times.”

The Duel in the Pool competition was established in 2003 with the United States competing against Australia. The two countries have previously competed in 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Team USA’s roster consists of a combination of NCAA and professional swimmers, as well as one high school swimmer (Sims). This year’s Duel in the Pool will also include para swimming events for the first time.

Thirty-nine events will take place across the next two days of competition. You can check out the full event schedule and scoring breakdown here.  

A live stream is available at www.usaswimming.org/watch beginning at 5 a.m. ET, with video playback available anytime after the sessions end. The stream will be available to all countries excluding Australia. 

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7 months ago

I just saw that open water was at biondi beach. I think that’s the beach where the famous 50m pool is.

I think that pool would make for better visuals then Sydney and add to unique element especially with doing non-standard events.

Reply to  Xman
7 months ago

It’s not heated
It’s winter.
7pm would be freezing

Last edited 7 months ago by Joel
Reply to  Xman
7 months ago

They call it Matt Biondi Beach now? Heresy! 😉

Caelebs left suit string
7 months ago

Australia did WHAT to the US 😏

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Caelebs left suit string
7 months ago


7 months ago

So is it 5am tomorrow? Why did USA swimming post about setting your alarm clocks last night

Becky D
7 months ago

What is the “broken freestyle” event that is upcoming?

Nevermind — found this explained elsewhere.

Last edited 7 months ago by Becky D
7 months ago

I bet it was cold- having lived at Bondi through 10 winters….

Reply to  torchbearer
7 months ago

Sydney was warm earlier today! It was about 21 at lunch time. But yeah at 9 it might have been a little chilly

Reply to  Sub13
7 months ago

The water temperature would not have been too warm!

Reply to  Torchbearer
7 months ago

I think it is around 17-18 degrees. That’s low 60’s for our American friends,

Reply to  Sub13
7 months ago

I think they are talking water temp, not air temp

Go Kamminga Go
7 months ago

Swimswam, do you know what is happening with Caeleb Dressel?

Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
7 months ago

Swimswam claims they have no information. Dressel’s agent/manager has not done a proper job. You can’t just “disappear”. Some sort of statement should have been made almost immediately, just spin it however is needed. Total silence was the worst way to handle this.

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  BrianD
7 months ago

I agree. Total silence is not the best way to handle the situation.

Can you imagine if Simone Biles, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Tiger Woods quit in the middle of competing in the most important meet of the year and then not saying anything?

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
7 months ago

There are actual spectators at Tennis and Golf and even average pro players are millionaires. Swimming has no real media presence other than this wonderful website. For example there was nothing in mainstream media about Popovici last week (in my country).

Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
7 months ago

Is that the cause or the result of pro athletes not treating swimming like those other sports in terms of media engagement? How many other athletes have we seen dropping out of important meets with no explanation other than “personal reasons” this year? Makes it a lot more difficult for media as well as the general population to get more engaged in the sport when swimming is approached like this. If a star athlete even got so much as a stubbed toe during the World Cup or the US Open (in tennis), every fan would know immediately.

On one hand, of course it’s important to put mental health and personal success before athletic excellence, we’ve seen the reverse come… Read more »

Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
7 months ago

Can’t you say Simone Manual has disappeared without a recent comment? Is she swimming or is she done?

Go Kamminga Go
Reply to  Ghost
7 months ago

Simone Manuel didn’t quite in the middle of competition. Totally different case.

Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
7 months ago

I think he’s pregnant

Reply to  Verram
7 months ago

So it was just morning sickness in Budapest? That explains everything … He’ll be able to make headlines in 2024 as the first mother to win gold in the men’s 50 free. Truly historic.

Reply to  Troyy
7 months ago

I heard he’s aiming for the wr so it would be something

Reply to  Go Kamminga Go
7 months ago

Well, his wife posted a new IG pic of them snorkeling? He looked happy, well and smiling so there’s that…Vacay?

7 months ago

Are there splits?

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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