Three Danish stars, Jeanette Ottesen, Lotte Friis, and Pal Joensen, have been confirmed to participate in the 2013 Duel in the Pool by the head of Danish Swimming, Nick Juba. Juba also announced that Rikke Moeller-Pedersen, the current World Record holder in the 200 breaststroke, is “unavailable on this occasion.”
These additions are huge for the European squad. Based on what we saw at the World Championships, now the as-of-yet-unannounced addition of Katie Ledecky to the American roster is the only thing that can keep the Europeans from a win in at least the women’s 800, and perhaps the 400 free as well.
Meanwhile Ottesen gives the European All-Star team some much-needed sprint firepower. She was the 2011 World Champion in the 100 free and the 2013 World Champion in the 50 fly. Though the Duel in the Pool will only have Short Course Meters editions of the Olympic events, so no 50 fly, the 400 free relay is one where the Americans are probably most vulnerable for defeat, especially given that the United States’ top 100 freestyler Missy Franklin will probably not attend with Cal being right in the heart of their final exam schedule as the American team leaves for this meet.
And on the men’s side there’s Joensen – who splits his time representing Denmark and and his native Faroe Islands. Joensen was 7th at the 2013 World Championships in the men’s 1500 free. He will also eat-up a valuable lane in the 400 free, where he was 10th at the Olympics (but didn’t swim at Worlds).
The meet will take place on December 20th and 21st in Glasgow, Scotland and pit a group of top American swimmers against an all-star lineup of European champions.