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U.S., Australia reviving "Duel in the Pool" competition

Third and most recent "Duel in the Pool" between U.S. and Australian swimmers was contested in Sydney in '07Getty Images

The U.S. and Australia will "revive the bilateral Duel in the Pool contest" after a gap of 15 years in Sydney in August, according to Nick Mulvenney of REUTERS. The three-day event at Sydney's Olympic Park from Aug. 19-21 will "bring together 30 Olympic, Paralympic and national team swimmers from both countries," while an "open water event will be held at Bondi Beach." The third and last "Duel in the Pool" between the U.S. and Australia was contested in Sydney in '07, although the Americans "later took on a team from Europe in four further editions." The original idea aimed to "cash in on the rivalry between the countries" at the '00 Sydney Games (REUTERS, 4/20). The revival of what was "once a high-profile televised event" is the "start of a decade-long build-up" to the '32 Brisbane Games. Swimming has "wasted no time in getting in early" (ABC.net.au, 4/20).

RIVALRIES RENEWED: In Sydney, Phil Lutton notes the Australians will be "fresh off a Commonwealth Games campaign," while some of the Americans will have "competed in the world championships in Budapest in July." Either way, both nations expect the team aspect and prize money will "tempt the best of the best." The potential for Tokyo rematches is "enticing." Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus and U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky are "likely to clash over 200m, 400m and 800m," while Australia's Kyle Chalmers and the U.S.' Caeleb Dressel, the two most recent Olympic champions, will "renew their 100m freestyle rivalry." Australia national team coach Rohan Taylor is hoping that the Duel in the Pool can "become a more regular feature on the calendar, even an annual clash" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 4/20).

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