2022 DUEL IN THE POOL
- 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
- Full US roster
- Full Australian roster
The Australian team got off to a good start at the 2022 Duel In The Pool, defeating the United States in the mixed 4×800 open water relay to gain an early 8-6 advantage in the scoring race.
As we head into Day 2, the first of two sessions of racing in the pool, we’ll take a look at each event and predict which team has the advantage based on roster strength.
For a detailed look at how the different types of events work, click here.
Day 2 Event Schedule
- Mixed 4×100 medley relay
- Women’s 400 broken freestyle
- Men’s 100 butterfly (traditional)
- Mixed 4×50 Multi-Class freestyle relay
- Women’s 50 butterfly skins (3 rounds)
- Men’s 100 breaststroke (traditional)
- Women’s 50 freestyle (traditional)
- Women’s 50 breaststroke skins (3 rounds)
- Men’s 800 broken freestyle
- Men’s 100 freestyle (traditional)
- Multi-Class 100 freestyle (staggered starts)
- Women’s 4×100 medley relay (traditional)
- Men’s 50 backstroke skins (3 rounds)
- Mixed Multi-Class & Able-bodied relay
- Men’s 200 IM (mystery)
- Women’s 100 backstroke (traditional)
- Men’s 50 freestyle skins (3 rounds)
- Multi-Class 50 Form-Stroke Skins (3 rounds)
- Women’s 200 freestyle (traditional)
- Mixed 4×50 random relay (2M, 2F)
Note the Para events aren’t included in the previews below due to their complex nature (staggered starts, athletes picking their own stroke, etc.)
Mixed 4×100 medley relay
The U.S. will likely open up with a sizzling front-half, potentially featuring Shaine Casas and Michael Andrew. The Aussies will likely open with 100 back world record holder Kaylee McKeown, which, while it will put them in a deficit early, will pay dividends later.
Australia can turn to Zac Stubblety-Cook, Matt Temple and Mollie O’Callaghan on the end, while the Americans have Gabi Albiero and Mallory Comerford. The Australian edge on the women’s side is pretty significant on paper, making them the likely victors.
Women’s 400 freestyle – broken
The broken 400 free for women will feature one 200-meter race followed by a pair of 100s, with points awarded for both the aggregate winner and the top finisher of each interval.
The Aussie women have three of the top-10 women in the 400 free this year, with Lani Pallister, Kiah Melverton and Leah Neale. If they wanted someone with a bit more speed, they could also throw in Madi Wilson. The U.S. has a strong option in Bella Sims, but the Aussies have a clear advantage.
Men’s 100 butterfly
The Americans have three options faster than any Aussies this year in the men’s 100 fly: Shaine Casas, Michael Andrew and Trenton Julian. With Andrew likely racing the 100 breast shortly after, it will probably be Casas and Julian, but that still puts the U.S. in a favorable spot over Australia’s Matt Temple and Cody Simpson.
Women’s 50 butterfly – skins
The Aussies have Emma McKeon coming off a Commonwealth title in the women’s 50 fly, and she’s got the endurance to perform in three rounds of skins. They also have Brianna Throssell, who also won’t fade over three rounds and has been significantly faster than the top U.S. options (Gabi Albiero, Beata Nelson).
Men’s 100 breaststroke
Fatigue could come into play here, though if we assume the U.S. doesn’t use Michael Andrew in the 100 fly, he should be fresh enough to book the win here. Andrew has been a full second faster than Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook in the 100 breast this year, clocking 58.51 at the U.S. Trials in April.
Australia has Stubblety-Cook (59.51) and Sam Williamson (59.82) sub-1:00 this year, while American Kevin Houseman is close at 1:00.05. With the point scoring being 4-3-2-1, if the athletes finish in the same order they’re ranked in this year, this is a wash. But with Houseman within striking distance of the Aussies, and Andrew well ahead, the U.S. gets the nod.
Women’s 50 freestyle
This one clearly goes to Australia—they’ve got three of the five-fastest swimmers in the world this year in the form of Emma McKeon, Shayna Jack and Meg Harris. Each team can only use two swimmers for each “traditional” individual event, but Australia should easily go 1-2 and score seven points.
Women’s 50 breaststroke – skins
This one should be fairly evenly-matched between the two squads, though Australia again has the advantage. Chelsea Hodges is the fastest swimmer in the field this year at 30.05, and Jenna Strauch sits third in 30.77. The U.S. has Kaitlyn Dobler (30.34) and Annie Lazor (30.89), so while it could go either way, the slight edge goes to the Aussies.
Men’s 800 freestyle – broken
Australia may have the best swimmer in this event with Mack Horton, but the U.S. has depth, with versatile freestyle swimmers on their roster including Charlie Clark, Luke Hobson, David Johnston and Grant House. They can only use two of them, but they just need one of them to be performing well to challenge Horton, who may be fatigued after a busy summer.
Men’s 100 freestyle
Ryan Held, Shaine Casas and Justin Ress give the U.S. men three options who have been 48.38 or better this year. Australia’s top option is Matt Temple, who hasn’t broken 49 seconds on a flat-start in 2022.
Women’s 4×100 medley relay
Men’s 50 backstroke – skins
With world champion Justin Ress (23.92 best time) and the fourth-fastest swimmer ever in Shaine Casas (24.00 best time), the American men are clearly superior in the 50 back. Michael Andrew gives them a third swimmer under 25 seconds in 2022, having been 24.64, while Australia has none.
Men’s 200 IM – mystery
While the order in which the strokes will be swum won’t be determined until just before the race, the Americans have several elite options, but will likely go with Chase Kalisz and Trenton Julian if Casas and Andrew are in the backstroke skins.
Women’s 100 backstroke
Men’s 50 freestyle – skins
With Andrew, Held, Ress and David Curtiss, the Americans are in good shape here. Held and Curtiss in particular should be fairly well rested and relied upon here.
Women’s 200 freestyle
Australia should easily score maximum points here, as they bring three swimmers ranked in the world’s top nine this year, and two more inside the top 20. O’Callaghan, Wilson, Neale, Pallister, Throssell and Harris have all been faster than the top U.S. swimmer.
That leading American is Bella Sims, who has proven to be clutch at times and we wouldn’t put it past her to break into the top two if she’s on.
Mixed 4×50 random relay
The “random” relay could go either way as teams will have to select their lineup and then find out if it will be a free or medley relay.
Both teams have versatile options who could do either. The biggest key to success in this relay is having someone who can swim free and breast at a high level, because the majority of breaststrokers can’t sprint freestyle that well.
On the women’s side, if breaststroke is covered by the male swimmers, there are plenty of back/fly options who can also swim free well such as Beata Nelson, Gabi Albiero and Mallory Comerford for the U.S. and Mollie O’Callaghan and Emma McKeon for Australia.
Of the 15 events in which we’ve given one team an advantage, Australia has the edge, 8-7, including both relays where points will be increased.
However, a lot can change over the course of such a busy session, and the Para races will also play a role in how the scoring transpires.
Right now, it looks like Australia will be ahead after Saturday’s session, but it should be close.