With the 2013 Duel in the Pool set to begin in just over two hours (7PM Glasgow time, 2PM United States Eastern time, and there seems to have been more last-minute scratches from the European side.
In the men’s 200 backstroke, there’s only four entries, two from each country, which guarantees both countries points. For the United States, the two are Tyler Clary and Eugene Godsoe, and for Europe its Yannick Lebherz and Craig McNally.
That means that the race will not have Chris Walker-Hebborn or Radoslaw Kawecki, either of whom could have won the race.
This year’s Duel in the Pool has devolved into a little bit of disorganized chaos, which could make it hard for swim fans to really become engaged with the competitive side of the meet. The Americans seem now lined up for another runaway point victory, and it’s hard to keep track of which Europeans are really participating. That’s in addition to the preexisting problems of poor information about prize money, and a scoring system that basically results in a lack of any true sense of team, since event winners will all-but-determine the meet outcome.
Katie Ledecky will swim the 400 free, where she could break the World Record, and should have a great race with swimmers Mireia Belmonte, Melani Costa-Schmid, Chloe Sutton, and Lotte Friis in the field. Belmonte is the current World Record holder in this short course meters version of the race.
Conor Dwyer will swim the 400 IM and the 400 free, but not the 100 free. That 100 free will have France’s Yannick Agnel in the middle-lane as the favorite, joined by Benjamin Proud, Cullen Jones, Yannick Agnel, Jimmy Feigen, Adam Brown, and Anthony Ervin.
In the women’s 100 free, scratched as well is Dutch sprint star and double Olympic champ Ranomi Kromowidjojo.
Dwyer’s competition in the 400 free will also include his training partner Agnel, the World Record holder who has gone back-and-forth on whether or not he’s racing the 400 seriously. That should be a great race.
American Tom Shields’ only day 1 individual entry will be the 100 fly, though he’ll likely be on the United States’ 400 medley relay. He’ll have a great shot at winning that 100 fly, given that the field will include a lot of 200 butterfliers (Tom Luchsinger, Bence Biczo, Velimir Stjepanovic) and one sprinter who will be Shields’ top competition (Ivan Lendjer). The Americans might have missed an opportunity of putting him in the 200 back, however, where there’s lots of empty lanes, but that says that USA Swimming’s staff is probably confident about their team victory.
The meet will be broadcast live in Europe, including on SkySports 2 in the UK, and in a tape-delayed special in the United States on Sunday. Live results are available here, and we’re going to be live-recapping the entire meet as well. Full coverage is available on the event channel here.