Europe and USA go head-to-head in the swimming pool

THE coach of the European All-Star team has vowed to give the USA a “run for their money” when the two teams go head to head in the swimming pool, in Atlanta, tonight.

Dennis Pursley leads his team out in the “Duel in the Pool” event and will hope swimmers such as former world championship medallists, Gemma Spofforth and Fran Halsall, can back up his words.

European 200 metres champion Lizzie Simmonds, along with Robbie Renwick, Adam Brown and Marco Loughran complete the British representation at the two-day event at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Centre.

The Americans will include some tough opposition including, Missy Franklin, the 16-year-old who is destined to stamp her imprint on the 2012 Olympics after five medals, including three golds, in Shanghai.

Eleven-time Olympic medallist Natalie Coughlin, Olympic 200m breaststroke champion Rebecca Soni, four-time world champion Katie Ziegler and seven-time world champion Katie Hoff also await.

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The British men will face the likes of Ryan Lochte, who won five gold medals in China.

“This is going to be an exciting encounter for everyone involved whether you’re a swimmer, a coach or one of the thousands of spectators,” said Pursley, a former head of United States Swimming and now head coach at British Swimming.

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“We’ve got a great opportunity to see many of the sport’s biggest and best going head to head.

“The event provides another outstanding opportunity for the athletes of all countries to hone their race skills in preparation for their respective Olympic trials and the Games themselves.

“I expect the swimmers from both teams to be in various stages of preparation - some rested and shaved down, striving for best times, while others may be in the midst of a heavy training cycle but I expect to see some exciting racing.

“We have a very strong European team this year and we intend to give the Yanks a run for their money.

“It could come down to the relays where they have an edge on paper, but you never know until the race is swum.”

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