The next edition of the Duel in the Pool series will take place December 18th and 19th in Atlanta, Georgia. This will mark the second straight contest where the Americans will battle a European Select squad. This is a change from the first three duels that the U.S. participated in (2003, 2005, and 2007) between the Americans and the Australians.
The meet is a made-for-TV event with prizes of up to $15,000 for a World Record and $1,000 for an event win.
The Americans are 4-0 all-time in the event, including a 185-78 win at 2009’s meet in Manchester, England. That meet was especially notable as it was the last major meet before the polyurethane ban went into effect on January 1, 2010. The Americans took advantage of the opportunity to set 7 short course World Records, including two by Julia Smit (200, 400 IM), two by Rebecca Soni (100, 200 breaststroke), and the world’s introduction to Nick Thoman, who surprised a lot of people when he broke the 100 backstroke all-time best mark.
This year, the Europeans are hoping to be joined by swimmers from Russia and Hungary in an attempt to improve their competitiveness. Given the success of these two squads at the recent Dubai Short Course World Championships–especially the Russian men–it seems as though this could be a serious barn-burner.