Over the years, the Aquatics Center at Sydney Olympic Park has hosted some of the most iconic moments in Australian swimming history. Whether Ian Thorpe broke the world record and won gold in the men’s 400m freestyle at the 2000 Olympics, Grant Hackett beat Kieren Perkins in the 1500m a week later, or Stephanie Rice Consider breaking two medley world records in an Olympic qualifier and predicting her dominance before the gold medal. 2008 convention. These and other feats will be immortalized in the Hall of Fame as fans walk through the venue’s entrance.
Day 2 of 2022 Australian and US pool duels, first night in the pool after Friday Open water relay at Bondi Beach, has never matched its glorious past.After 12 months of penalties for Australia – the Tokyo Olympics (this time last year the Dolphins were barely hotel quarantine), the World Championships in Budapest in June, and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, expectations were modest. But on Saturday night, it took mere minutes for the narrow-minded crowd to raise their roofs and reaffirm the public’s love of live swimming.
Duel in the Pool may be a world with gimmicks, a made-for-TV product, full of delightfully bizarre rules, and a far cry from the down-to-earth seriousness of major international titles. However, the cheers from the crowd said it all when Australia overtook the Americans with two legs to go in the opening race of the night, the mixed 4x100m medley relay.
A crowd of over 3,500 volunteered Olympic superstar Emma McKeon And 18-year-old freestyle sensation Molly O’Callaghan made her first home win of the night in Australia. There are no gold medals on offer this weekend, but dolphins mean business.
Passion may have infected, but the complicated rules baffled many observers. In his second race of the night, the women’s 400 m freestyle break, six swimmers (three from each country) competed on his 200 m leg, followed by a short rest, 100 m leg, Another break and then the final 100m sprint was done. Points were awarded to the winner of each leg and the overall winner based on accumulated time. Unbeknownst to much of the crowd, the Americans won. “I think you might need a PhD to understand this,” said one observer.
The women’s 3x50m butterfly ‘skin’ event was another unusual format. A field of 6 competitors, after the first race he was reduced to 4 and again after the second race he was reduced to 2 (between each race he had a minute or so ). McKeon looked unusually slow in the final against American Beata Nelson. But it was all a ruse – Australia did a ‘double dip’. This meant the pair had to swim her final 50 m lap to decide the race, and McKeon won comfortably. Two events later, the American got her revenge, deploying the same tactics that Kaitlyn Dobler won the ‘double dip’ fourth leg of the 3x50m breaststroke to similar effect.
After winning the women’s 50m freestyle overnight, Australia’s Meg Harris sums up her experience in multi-format competition. “You don’t know what’s going on,” she said. She wasn’t the only one. “They explained [the rules] Many times to me,” said O’Callaghan. “I just sit there and go in one ear and out.”
These were not criticisms. Swimmers and fans alike took note of the quirky rules and unlikely matchups. As if to underscore that this is a one-of-a-kind swimming event, the Dolphins head his coach, Rohan, his Taylor wirelessly held his mic in the pool, strutting his deck and broadcasting live. I rang the chime for the TV broadcast. Big Bash Cricket will eat your heart out.
An even stranger event was the men’s mystery 200m individual medley. Each swimmer was only told their stroke order just before the race and each had their own random order.He of Australia Se-Bom Lee built an early lead but lost the breaststroke last. Always vulnerable as legs. He fought valiantly but was mowed down in the final meters by American Trenton Julian, a swimming butterfly.
Australia fought back in the next event, the women’s 100m backstroke, with the Dolphins tossing the ‘flag’ of the ‘enthusiastic’ round midway through the race (the winning team gets double points). Given the unbeatable power of Olympic and Commonwealth champion Kayleigh McKean in his games, it was a safe bet. A late charge by his compatriot O’Callaghan, who finished second, added to Australia’s points tally.
The night capped off with a random mixed 4x50m freestyle relay, with teams spinning to determine the format before the race. The spin landed in a medley and an exhilarating night of racing ended just as it began.McKeon and his girl and successor to the Australian swim team, Golden, O’Callaghan, are in Australia. is leading by yet another relay. That was not the case – Australian anchor swimmer McKeon was unable to dash towards the wall and reel in Linea Mack. It was an unfortunate spin. Australia would have easily won in his relay freestyle. But that’s the way this strange, wacky and wonderful event goes.
The United States has never lost a Duel in the Pool in the event’s last seven appearances (the first three against Australia, then four against European combined teams). But the American’s undefeated run is on the line as the duel returns for the first time since 2015 and on Australian soil for the first time since his 2007. The Dolphins spared the United States his two gold medals in Tokyo, revived after his 10-year hiatus in the pool.
At the end of the penultimate night, the Americans hold a slight lead of 159 points to 148 points on the scoreboard. If the Dolphins can finally knock the American out of the position, it would be a heroic achievement. Everything to swim between two heavyweight nations.
“If you look at history, Duels have usually been flops,” Taylor said. “But we’re hanging in there.”
Australia joins the US in a wacky race duel in the pool.swimming
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