PHOENIX, Arizona, September 27. THE list of athletes racing for Europe at this December’s Duel in the Pool grew by two today, as Danish world champions Jeanette Ottesen Gray and Lotte Friis put their names of the roster for the anticipated matchup against the United States.
Ottesen Gray and Friis will join Pal Joensen as swimmers competing for the European All-Stars with Danish ties, according to Danish swimming head coach Nick Juba. Though Joensen, who committed to the Duel roster a couple of weeks ago, is a citizen of the Faroe Islands, he trains in Denmark and swims for Denmark at the Olympics.
Ottesen Gray and Friis are no strangers to the Duel in the Pool. In the 2011 edition, Ottesen Gray was second in the 100 fly and helped guide the Europeans to a win in the 400 free relay. Friis was on pace to break the then-world record in the 800 freestyle, but came up .24 short with an 8:04.77. Though the world record has since fallen to 7:59.34, expect Friis to put in a good swim — especially if new rival Katie Ledecky decides to compete in Scotland.
Friis, who is training with North Baltimore Aquatic Club this fall, has already committed to participating in the European championships in her home country the week before the Duel in the Pool. Though Ottesen Gray has not made a similar public announcement, it is likely she will not pass up the opportunity to race in front of a home crowd.
The Euro All-Stars team will not have possibly the top Danish swimmer in the world for 2013. Juba announced via Twitter that Rikke Moller Pedersen will not be available December 20 and 21 for the Duel in the Pool. Pedersen is the world record holder in the 200 long course breaststroke and is also a top 100 breaststroker.