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Duel in the Pool 2022: Top Stars, Storylines, Predictions for USA vs. Australia

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured Columnist IAugust 18, 2022

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

There's about to be a lot of excitement for swimming fans this weekend in the Land Down Under.

After a seven-year hiatus, Duel In The Pool, the head-to-head challenge that pits the United States against Australia, is back on Friday in Sydney.

Duel in the Pool goes back to 2003, at the height of the Michael Phelps era, and took place once every two years until 2015.

Now that the American and Aussie teams are back at the top of the sport, the three-day event has been resurrected by Swimming Australia and USA Swimming.

From Friday to Sunday, Bondi Beach and the pools at the Sydney Aquatic Centre will include a litany of unorthodox competitions featuring some of the world's best swimmers, including Aussies Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown and Mollie O’Callaghan and USA competitors Katie Ledecky and Regan Smith on the women's side, as well as Caeleb Dressel (USA) and Kyle Chalmers (Australia).

Here's a quick look at how to watch and what fans can expect to see.

USA Swimming @USASwimming

It's almost time 🤩<br><br>Scroll through for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DuelInThePool?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DuelInThePool</a> scoring details, and click below for U.S. streaming info, event schedule and more ⤵️

Duel in the Pool 2022

Date: Friday, August 19

Start Time: 9 a.m. ET

TV: NBC

Live Stream: NBCSports and USAswimming.org


Full Event Schedule

Day 1 - Friday

Mixed 4 x 800m Open Water Relay


Day 2 - Saturday

4x100m Mixed Medley Relay (2M, 2F) Traditional

Women’s 400m Broken Freestyle

Men’s 100m Butterfly, Traditional

Mixed 4x50m MC Freestyle Relay (2M, 2F)

Women’s 3x50m Butterfly, Skins

Men’s 100m Breaststroke, Traditional

Women’s 50m Freestyle, Traditional

Women’s 3x50m Breaststroke, Skins

Men’s 800m Broken Freestyle

Men’s 100m Freestyle, Traditional

MC 100m Freestyle, Staggered Starts

Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay, Traditional

Men’s 3x50m Backstroke, Skins

Mixed MC/AB 4x50m Relay (2 S9, 2 AB)

Men’s 200m Individual Medley, Mystery

Women’s 100m Backstroke, Traditional

Men’s 3x50m Freestyle, Skins

MC 3x50m Form-Stroke, Skins

Women’s 200m Freestyle, Traditional

Mixed 4x50m Random Relay (2M 2F)


Day 3 - Sunday

Mixed 6x50m Freestyle Relay (1M, 2F) Swimming 2Ă—50 each

Women’s 800m Broken Freestyle

Men’s 200m Freestyle, Traditional

Mixed 4x100m MC Freestyle Relay (2M, 2F)

Women’s 3x50m Freestyle, Skins

Men’s 3x50m Breaststroke, Skins

Women’s 100m Butterfly, Traditional

Women’s 3x50m Backstroke, Skins

Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay, Traditional

Men’s 100m Backstroke, Traditional

MC 3x50m Freestyle, Skins

Women’s 100m Freestyle, Traditional

Men’s 400m Broken Freestyle

Men’s 50m Freestyle, Traditional

Women’s 100m Breaststroke, Traditional

Men’s 3x50m Butterfly, Skins

MC 100m Form-Stroke

Women’s 200m Individual Medley, Mystery

2x200m vs 4x100m Freestyle Random Relay (2M 2F)


Top Stars, Storylines, Predictions

The world of swimming is still abuzz with Romanian David Popovici's world-record performance in the 100-meter free with a time of 46.86 seconds and the 200-meter free with a time of one minute, 42.97 seconds.

Now that fans are vigorously paying attention to the sport, Duel in the Pool is next up, and there should be a lot to be excited about.

Popovici won't be on the marquee, but other stars, like McKeon, McKeown, O’Callaghan, Ledecky, Smith, Dressel and Chalmers, will be on hand to represent their country.

On the women's side, it looks as if Australia has the advantage, with Olympic gold medalists McKeon and McKeown in the pool.

It's a bit more evenly matched on the men's side, with the strength being the sprint team led by Michael Andrew.

Overall, there's a slight edge for the Aussies to win it because of the women and the fact that they're swimming in home waters.

The key is going to be how the respective coaches manage their stars in the race to keep them from burning out and getting through the various races, especially the “Mystery” IM, in which the order of the strokes is determined at random prior to the start of the race.

No matter who ends the weekend with bragging rights, this should be a must-see event for swimming fans worldwide.

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