USA vs. Australia Duel In The Pool Returns To Sydney Pool Of Dreams and Iconic Bondi Beach (Updated)

Duel in the Pool

USA vs. Australia Duel In The Pool Returns To Sydney’s Pool Of Dreams and Iconic Bondi Beach (Updated)

Sydney’s “Pool Of Dreams” and one of the world’s iconic surfing beaches, Bondi, will see the return of the fourth Duel In The Pool between swimming’s super powers the USA and Australia in August.

Australian powerbrokers, fittingly led by U.S. legend Tracy Caulkins – now president of Swimming Australia – unveiled details of the fourth Duel In The Pool between swimming’s heavyweights at the Bondi Icebergs pool in Sydney today, with Bondi Beach to host the inaugural open water component.

The 2022 Duel in the Pool will run from August 19-21 at the city’s “Pool Of Dreams,” the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre at Homebush. It will serve as the opening to a festival of swimming in Sydney in August. Previous Duels had been staged in Indianapolis in 2003, Irvine, California in 2005 and Sydney in 2007 – all won by the US.

Following the Duel in the Pool, Swimming Australia will host the Sydney Sprints, an event which will also incorporate the Australian Short Course Championships and be open to a number of competing nations from around the world, marking the first major international swim meet to be hosted in Australia since the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The week will then conclude with the annual Swimming Australia Awards.

Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky

Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr

The return of one of swimming’s most exciting meets could well see the likes of U.S. superstars Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel against Australia’s Olympic champions Ariarne Titmus and Kyle Chalmers. The timing is certainly right with Australia’s seven gold medal haul in Tokyo and the rise of Chalmers, Titmus, Emma McKeon, Kaylee McKeown and Zac Stubblety-Cook – and the emergence of Australia’s relay teams at the 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics.

The duels between Ledecky and Titmus over 200, 400 and 800 meters were the major drawcards of the Tokyo Games, alongside Dressel and Chalmers in their dramatic 100 freestyle battle royal.

Chalmers, Titmus and McKeon are unavailable for this year’s World Championships in Budapest with only Titmus joining McKeown and Stubblety-Cook at the Australia Trials in Adelaide next month. Chalmers and McKeon will, however, race at the Commonwealth Games.

Swimming Australia, in conjunction with USA Swimming, announced details of a new format today that will see each country select a team of 30 Olympic, Paralympic and National Team athletes to contest pool events at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC), and an Open Water component at Bondi.

The event will showcase innovation both in and out of the pool, with new race and relay formats, an innovative broadcast overlay with insight into the technology that powers the sport, and fan engagement activations incorporating lighting and AR (Augmented Reality) to bring the entertainment to life.

Delivered with the support of Destination NSW, the reimagined Duel in the Pool will leverage the mixture of innovative concepts and iconic Sydney locations to engage a broader, non-traditional swimming audience, contributing to the growing visitor economy.

Swimming Australia CEO, Eugénie Buckley, believes the event will also draw international attention.

“Whether it’s the 4x100m freestyle relay in Sydney, or the women’s 400m freestyle from Tokyo, both our past and present are dominated by contests between our two great swimming nations that have defined their respective generations,” Buckley said.

“Reigniting the Duel in the Pool will enable us to showcase the best athletes in the world through a format that will bring fans closer to the action and engage the viewing audience like never before, all while adding to the great legacy between our two countries in the pool.

“We are fortunate to work with our partners at Destination NSW to host this innovative event in the great city of Sydney and we look forward to welcoming USA Swimming for a meet unlike any other.”

Minister for Tourism and Sport Stuart Ayres said this event highlighted why Sydney was in the fast lane to becoming the sporting events capital of the Asia Pacific.

“Sydney is renowned for hosting the best international sporting events that capture the world’s attention, so I am delighted we are bringing Duel in the Pool back to the Harbour City for the first time since 2007,” Mr Ayres said.

“Australia and USA are the two titans of world swimming with a great historic rivalry, so this is going to be an absolutely enthralling battle for supremacy in the pool watched by millions of people on both sides of the Pacific.

“The NSW Government is committed to delivering world-class events like Duel in the Pool to achieve our goal making Sydney and NSW the events capital and premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific.”

Established in 2003, the original Duel in the Pool capitalized on the momentum of the Sydney Olympics to pit swimming’s greatest rivals against each other in a made for TV event. The new format will blend the traditional points system with racing, fan engagement, broadcast and pool deck concepts previously unprecedented in swimming.

USA Swimming President and CEO, Tim Hinchey III, echoed the excitement, stating: “The world’s best thrive when competing against one another, and our teams have established an exciting history of record-setting competition and thrilling rivalries, which will no doubt be showcased in Sydney. We’re proud to partner with Swimming Australia to provide our athletes with another world-class competitive meet and an incredibly unique and exciting event for the fans.”

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7 months ago

Hey I thought Australia won 9 swimming gold medals in Tokyo not just 7…

Jeff Float
7 months ago

Congratulations to fellow ‘84 Olympic team Captain Tracy Caulkins for creating this phenomenal opportunity to showcase the sport of swimming on the grandest of scales! Having personally witnessed the men’s 4×100 free relay in Sydney 2000 and the incredible fandemonium, this event will without a doubt be epic!

Aussie swim fan
7 months ago

How many swimmers for each country will compete in each event & what will be the basis of invites/selection.