The storied IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana is preparing itself for the impending siege of superstars about to set aflame to its waters this weekend.
The 2015 Duel in the Pool begins tomorrow, December 11th and ends on Saturday, December 12th, but not before an all-star line-up of European swimmers go head-to-head with some of America’s best aquatic talent.
- Competition takes place Friday, December 11th at 7pm Eastern; Saturday, December 12th at 2pm Eastern
- European Roster
- American Roster
- Order of Events
- SwimSwam.com’s Event Page
- Results (when available)
- Remote Viewing
The Event’s History
Since the once Australia vs. United States meet moved to the European All Stars against the U.S. format in 2009, the final team score deficit has been shrinking with each competition. The 2009 edition in Manchester saw the United States dominate with a final score of 185 to Europe’s 78 and this was followed in 2011 with another U.S. win in a score of 181.5 to 80.
2013 was the real breakthrough year for the European All Stars, however, as the meet came down to a tie between the two teams that led to a mixed 200m medley relay tie-breaker. With the U.S. swimmers coming out on top of that extra race (thank you, Simone Manuel) they would end up winning the meet in a final tally of 132 to 131.
The Competition’s Format
The schedule consists for 15 women’s and 15 men’s events, including 13 individual races plus a total of four relays. Points earned by the women and men on each squad will be combined to keep a running point total for each team. At the conclusion of the competition, whichever team has the most combined team points from the 262 points available over the 30 events (i.e., the first team to 131.5 points) will be declared the 2015 Duel in the Pool winner.
Individual events will see a maximum of four entrants per team, while relays will have one European team and one American team. On a swimmer level, each athlete may swim up to 6 events total, as a combination of both individual and relay events.
Point Scoring is as follows:
1st place – 5 pts
2nd place – 3 pts
3rd place – 1 pt
4th-6th place – 0 pts
1st place – 7 pts
2nd place – 0 pts
If Team Europe and Team USA are tied after the 30th event (the men’s 400m freestyle relay), the final winner will be determined by a 4x50m medley relay composed of two men and two women on each relay squad. The final winner of this tie-breaker event will be awarded one point and, thus, will earn the total meet victory.
The Meet Schedule
The entire short course meters-formatted meet kicks off with both a men’s and women’s sure-to-be-heated 400m medley relay battle, then the two-day affair concludes with both versions of the 400m freestyle relay. That’s a change from the 2013 edition, where the 400m medley relay was the very last event of Day one’s schedule. Another change is that the 2013 event line-up saw both the men and women competing in the 800m freestyle but this year’s meet has only the women competing in the 800m free, with the men racing in the 1500m distance.
The freestyle and butterfly events still see their shorter 100m race distance on Saturday, while the disciplines of backstroke and breaststroke compete in the 200m events on the first day. Day one also hosts the 400m IM and 400m freestyle, while the 800m free, 1500m free and 200m IM fall on the second day of the duel.
The Big Players
In what some would call “dream team”-esque rosters, both the American and the European squads are bringing some of their best talent to Indy. The Americans alone, even without Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps, have 12 Olympians on their roster, including 7 Olympic gold medalists to face their counterparts from Europe. The visiting team is bringing 27 Olympians from 11 different countries in tow, so the battle ahead may very well come down to a tie-breaker relay, as it did in the 2013 edition.
Great Britain claims the most representatives on the European roster with 9, followed by Hungary with 7 and Denmark with 4 swimmers each.
Several European competitors are just coming off of the 2015 European Short Course Championships that took place in Netanya, Israel last weekend. These include Great Britain’s two-time gold medalist Jazz Carlin, Iceland’s stand-out backstroker Eyglo Gustafsdottir and world-record-setting Hungarian Katinka Hosszu. Another newly-minted 1500m short-course world record holder, Gregorio Paltrinieri, will also be making an appearance in Indy, as will the on-a-hot-streak Laszlo Cseh, who set two European Records at the championships.
We’ll see if their participation in that short-course meters event provides any advantage over the members of the stars n’ stripes team who raced in long course meters at Winter Nationals, also last weekend. Simone Manuel, Nathan Adrian, Sarah Henry, Missy Franklin, Conor Dwyer, Michael McBroom and Matt Grevers were among those who swam away with U.S. National titles, so they’ll be carrying that confidence into the IUPUI Natatorium this weekend.
Trojan Swim Club’s Jessica Hardy leads the U.S. roster in terms of Duel experience, with the 2015 edition of the meet marking her 6th Duel in the Pool roster appearance. Eugene Godsoe and Kendyl Stewart were the latest additions to the American line-up, while Great Britain’s Craig Benson, Proleter Swim Club’s Arkady Vyatchanin and Great Britain’s Elizabeth Simmonds were the most recent swimmers announced to the European squad.
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