The Duel in the Pool is scheduled to make its return in Sydney this August, with Australia squaring off against the United States.
The two nations collected a combined 50 swimming medals at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics – including Australia’s Emma McKeon, who collected a record seven swimming medals in a single Games.
“The world’s best thrive when competing against one another, and our teams have established an exciting history,” USA Swimming president Tim Hinchey III said in a statement. “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.”
Last held between the U.S. and Australia in 2007, the event will feature 30 swimmers from each nation. It will take place from Aug. 19-21 at Sydney’s Aquatic Center, with Bondi Beach hosting open-water events.
First staged in 2003, the event was held every odd year up until 2015. From 2009 through 2015, the U.S. took on the top swimmers in Europe.
It was also announced that for the first time, Paralympic swimmers will compete in the event.
“We are incredibly excited for this announcement to combine the Olympic and Paralympic side of sport with both of our powerhouse nations,” U.S. Paralympics Swimming Director Erin Popovich said.
Swimming Australia’s chief executive Eugenie Buckley said that the format will be reinvented, blending a traditional points system with “unprecedented” broadcast and pool deck concepts.
“Reigniting the Duel in the Pool will enable us to showcase the best athletes … through a format that will bring fans closer to the action and engage the viewing audience like never before,” Buckley said.
If the best of the nations’ swimmers compete, a rematch between Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus could be in order. Titmus knocked off Ledecky in the 400-meter freestyle last summer for gold, Ledecky’s first individual loss in an Olympic event.