GLASGOW, Scotland, December 21. IN an extremely emotional tiebreaker mixed 200 medley relay finale, Team USA led wire-to-wire in an exciting finish to capture the world record as well as the all important final point to win 132-131 to keep its Duel in the Pool record unblemished at 6-0.
Eugene Godsoe had the key leg, dominating Chris Walker-Hebborn 22.88 to 23.56 to open up the finale. Kevin Cordes and Damir Dugonjic matched each other with 25.40s, while Claire Donahue didn't lose too much ground to Jeanette Ottesen-Gray, 24.76 to 25.28. Simone Manuel, the youngster of the team in an all-important anchor role, out-split Fran Halsall, 23.61 to 23.65, for the win as Team USA won 1:37.17 to 1:37.37.
Both teams surpassed the previous world record of 1:37.63 set by Russia's Vitaly Melnikov, Yuliya Efimova, Svetlana Chimrova and Vlad Morozov at the European Short Course Championships in Herning a week ago.
USA: Eugene Godsoe (22.88), Kevin Cordes (25.40), Claire Donahue (25.28), Simone Manuel (23.61)
Euro All Stars: Chris Walker-Hebborn (23.56), Damir Dugonjic (25.40), Jeanette Ottesen-Gray (24.76), Fran Halsall (23.65)
Russia: Vitaly Melnikov (23.70), Yuliya Efimova (28.39), Svetlana Chimrova (25.29), Vlad Morozov (20.25)
Immediately at the touch, chants of U-S-A rang out in Scotland, much to the displeasure of the Scottish fans who were hoping to see an epic upset.
While many might say the Duel in the Pool this year was watered down with the likes of Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin. Katinka Hosszu, Vlad Morozov and Ranomi Kromowidjojo not in attendance, the meet still featured one of the most exciting storylines ever in the event's history. With Team USA in chase mode the entire meet, never leading until the end, everyone had no clue what was going to happen.
The interest level in the event, as evidenced by the amazing amount of tweets upon the finale of the event, likely keeps this being a Team USA vs. Europe setup going forward.