SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which matchup they would prefer if USA Swimming were to bring back the Duel In The Pool:
Question: If the Duel In The Pool were to be revived, which matchup would you want to see?
- USA vs Australia – 53.1%
- USA vs World – 27.9%
- USA vs Europe – 19.0%
USA Swimming’s Duel In The Pool launched in 2003 as a rivalry matchup between swimming powerhouses USA and Australia, with meets running biannually through 2015.
After three meets pitting the U.S. against Australia, with the Americans winning all three times, the format changed to a USA vs Europe matchup in 2009.
Just like what we saw against Australia, the Americans won four straight duals against the European all-stars, though the 2013 showcase was as close as it gets, with a mixed 200 medley relay required as a tiebreaker after the end of the meet when the two teams were tied.
The meet did not return in 2017 “due to sponsorship changes,” and has yet to resurface four years later.
Given the dominance the Americans showed in going 7-0 in the event’s history against Australia and Europe, the poll took a gauge of what fans would want to see if the Duel In The Pool were to make a comeback.
Would they want to see the rivalry with the Aussies rekindled? Do people want to stick with the U.S. vs Europe matchup, similar to what we see every two years in golf with the Ryder Cup? Or, do SwimSwam readers believe that neither of those matchups would be competitive enough, and they’d rather see the American swimmers take on an all-star team comprised of the best swimmers from anywhere but the United States.
The poll shows that more than half of voters, 53.1 percent, would prefer to see the original matchup, USA vs Australia, return, should the Duel In The Pool make a comeback.
The Australians won nine gold medals in the pool at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, just two back of the Americans, and currently have some of the biggest stars in the sport in the form of Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown, Ariarne Titmus and Kyle Chalmers, to name a few.
Adding to the potential intrigue of a USA/Australia dual is the fact that some great rivalries have developed in recent years between Titmus and Katie Ledecky, Chalmers and Caeleb Dressel, and the evolving one between McKeown and Regan Smith.
Just under 28 percent voted for the U.S. to have to take on the “World,” AKA an all-star team of the best swimmers from anywhere outside of America. It would certainly make for an intriguing match, one the Americans might even be underdogs in after going undefeated through the first seven iterations of the Duel In The Pool.
Only 19 percent want to see the USA vs Europe meet continued, which is understandable given that the final scores in 2009, 2011 and 2015 were incredibly lopsided. If it was clear the meet would be even close to as competitive as it was in 2013 it would make sense to keep the European matchup, but that does not appear to be the case.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks: Which of these three female freshman have impressed you the most so far in the NCAA season?
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.