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Europe leads US at Duel in the Pool by 14 points

December 20, 2013

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — The Americans are facing defeat in the Duel in the Pool for the first time.

After winning eight out of 14 races on Friday, the European All Stars lead 68-54 going into the second and final day of the meet in Glasgow.

The U.S. has won all five previous Duels in the Pool, beating Australia in the first three editions and the Europeans in 2009 and 2011.

Even without its top male swimmer, Ryan Lochte, the Americans won five of the seven men’s races, with Olympic gold medalist Conor Dwyer coming out on top in the 400 individual medley by 0.64 seconds.

But the European women got the better of their American rivals, triumphing in six races and losing just one at the short-course (25-meter pool) meet.

“We’ll come out fighting tomorrow,” U.S. head coach Carol Capitani told broadcaster Sky Sports. “Let’s go out and show some gumption.”

The signs were good early on for the Europeans, who got off to an impressive start in the women’s 400 individual medley. Spain’s Mireia Belmonte emerged victorious, with Aimee Willmott of Britain in second and Caitlin Leverenz out in third for the Americans.

Five points are awarded for a win, three for second place, and one for third.

The early 8-1 European advantage was quickly wiped out in the men’s 400 IM.

Already a proven short course talent, it was no real surprise to see Dwyer come out on top, ahead of compatriot Chase Kalisz and Hungary’s David Verraszto.

But the 100 freestyle events were won by Michelle Coleman of Sweden and Yannick Agnel of France, before Daryna Zevina of Ukraine won the 200 backstroke.

The Americans rattled off successive victories — Eugene Godsoe in the men’s 200 backstroke and Micah Lawrence in the 200 breaststroke.

Other American successes saw Tom Shields triumph in the 100 butterfly in 49.80 seconds, and Michael Klueh win the 400 freestyle in 3 minutes, 39.94 seconds.

“I’m more of a distance swimmer than some of these other guys so I knew I would have a little more at the end,” Klueh said.

The biggest cheers of the night came when Scottish swimmer Michael Jamieson touched in first in the men’s 200 breaststroke as he prepares for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year.

“I was out a bit too slow and had a bit too much left at the end to be honest,” he said. “I’m delighted about the result but I had it in my legs to go a bit quicker.”

The 4x100 medley relays saw Europe’s women come out on top and the American men triumph.

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