The swimming world will set its sights on Sydney in August with the iconic city set to play host to the sport’s most celebrated rivalry.
Australia and the United States of America will face off for both points and pride as the two international swimming powerhouses reimagine the Duel in the Pool team competition.
The new format 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 one of the world’s most renowned beaches, 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 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 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 capitalised 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.”
The 2022 Duel in the Pool will run from August 19-21 and serve as the opening to a festival of swimming in Sydney in August.
Following the Duel in the Pool, Swimming Australia will host the Sydney Sprints at SOPAC, 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.
Tickets and full event details will be announced in the coming months