Australia’s Golden Girls and clever team tactics gave the host nation a great start to one of the night’s head-to-head swimming events against rivals the United States in Sydney.
- USA leads Australia 159-148 after a day of pools
- Australia used a power play and a double-dip wildcard to great effect on the day.
- On the second night of Duel in the Pool, the world’s first mixed relay for able-bodied athletes and para-athletes was held.
Emma McKeon and Mollie O’Callaghan wowed a small crowd of 3,355 in legs 3 and 4 of the mixed 4×100 medley relay, which took place at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.
Teenage swimming sensation O’Callaghan surprised McKeon by winning the 100m freestyle final at the Commonwealth Games. But this time she chased her idol into the pool, overtaking Mallory Commerford and snatching Australia’s first Duel in the Pool points.
McKeon brought home six gold, one silver and one bronze medal from Birmingham so it was a shock when the superstar lost to Beata Nelson of the USA in the 3x50m butterfly skin.
It was all part of the plan, as Australia used the ‘double dip’ wildcard to add another 50m race to the two-way battle. McKeon was too fast for a tired Nelson to steal a point on the extra leg.
“I was doing the last 50 and had an extra one on Beata and I felt really bad,” McKeon said.
“But it was just a strategy and they told me to do it, so I just did it.
“Knowing it was coming made it easier for me, so I can’t imagine how Beata must have felt.
Australia scored double points in the women’s 4x100m freestyle after using the ‘power play’ in the gold medal-winning event at last year’s Tokyo Olympics. This time, O’Callaghan took the lead into the final leg and went home to her.
Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Kayleigh McKean posted strong times in previous relays and successfully completed the 100m backstroke.
American rising star Vera Sims has shown her talent for doing a 200m followed by a broken 400m freestyle with two 100m legs with a short recovery period between each race.
“I train broken freestyle because there are people who want to run the full distance all the time, and I think that works for them,” Sims said before the race.
Zac Stubblety-Cook had to settle for third place in the 100m breaststroke, but his favorite event was the 200m breaststroke. He holds Olympic, Commonwealth, He Games, and World Championship titles, but was mysteriously left out of the programme.
The US recovered from a slow start to finish the night with a 159-148 lead on Duel in the Pool points.
The second night of Duel in the Pool will feature the men’s 4x100m freestyle, which sparked a rivalry between the best swimmers, and the world’s first mixed relay for able-bodied and para-athletes.
Australia’s Commonwealth Games medalists shine in pool duel, but USA take the lead
Source link Australia’s Commonwealth Games medalists shine in pool duel, but USA take the lead