Tom Shields

U.S. edges Europe in tiebreak relay to win Duel in the Pool (video)

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The U.S. remained unbeaten in the Duel in the Pool — barely.

Down 68-54 after Friday, the Americans rallied to win the Ryder Cup-style swimming event 132-131 following a tiebreaking mixed relay when the teams were even after 30 scheduled races in Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday.

NBC will televise the Duel in the Pool on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. ET.

The U.S. has won all six duels, including a 181.5-80.5 whipping of a European all-star team at the last edition in 2011 in Atlanta. The first three duels were U.S.-Australia battles during the heyday of their rivalry in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

This matchup was expected to be the closest yet, given the U.S. was missing Michael PhelpsRyan Lochte and Missy Franklin and its star, Katie Ledecky, was feeling under the weather and managed one podium finish, second place in the 200m freestyle Saturday.

“I didn’t have the best meet,” a hoarse Ledecky said, according to Swimming World. “But it sure as heck will be one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Europe led by as much as 86-63 after 17 of 30 races in the short-course meet. The pool was 25 meters long, as opposed to Olympic-size 50-meter pools.

Points were awarded for first, second and third place in individual events (five for first, three for second, one for third). Seven points were given in winner-take-all relays.

The U.S. stormed back with five straight individual wins but never led, forcing a 131-131 tie after the final men’s 4x100m freestyle relay anchored by Cullen Jones.

“It was intense,” two-time U.S. Olympian Anthony Ervin said, according to Swimming World“I heard mutterings about that we had to win the last relay in order to go to the tiebreaker relay. Personal efforts aside, we dug deep like we did the whole day as a team.”

So, the teams came back out for a mixed 4x50m medley relay. The U.S. led after each split with anchor Simone Manuel touching .20 of a second ahead of Great Britain’s Francesca Halsall to set off “U-S-A” chants.

A 2015 Duel in the Pool announcement has not been made, but it is expected to be staged in the U.S.

Women’s 800m Freestyle — Europe 77, U.S. 54
1. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (EUR) 8:07.90
2. Lotte Friis (EUR) 8:10.40
3. Jazmin Carlin (EUR) 8:12.01

Men’s 800m Freestyle — Europe 80, U.S. 60
1. Michael McBroom (USA) 7:33.99
2. Pal Joensen (EUR) 7:39.69
3. Michael Klueh (USA) 7:41.96

Women’s 200m Freestyle — Europe 86, U.S. 63
1. Michelle Coleman (EUR) 1:53.63
2. Katie Ledecky (USA) 1:53.83
3. Melani Costa (EUR) 1:53.96

Men’s 200m Freestyle — Europe 87, U.S. 71
1. Conor Dwyer (USA) 1:41.68
2. Tyler Clary (USA) 1:43.84
3. Robbie Renwick (EUR) 1:44.44

Women’s 100m Backstroke — Europe 91, U.S. 76
1. Olivia Smoliga (USA) 57.06
2. Simona Baumrtova (EUR) 57.11
3. Daryna Zavina (EUR) 57.16

Men’s 100m Backstroke — Europe 92, U.S. 84
1. Eugene Godsoe (USA) 50.08
2. Tom Shields (USA) 50.18
3. Chris Walker-Hebborn (EUR) 50.55

Women’s 100m Breaststroke — Europe 93, U.S. 92
1. Jessica Hardy (USA) 1:04.65
2. Micah Lawrence (USA) 1:05.27
3. Sophie Allen (EUR) 1:05.39

Men’s 100m Breaststroke — Europe 97, U.S. 97
1. Kevin Cordes (USA) 56.88
2. Marco Koch (EUR) 57.05
3. Damir Dugonjic (EUR) 57.08

Women’s 200m Butterfly — Europe 103, U.S. 100
1. Mireia Belmonte Garcia (EUR) 2:03.31
2. Cammile Adams (USA) 2:04.61
3. Franziska Hentke (EUR) 2:05.83

Men’s 200m Butterfly — Europe 107, U.S. 105
1. Tom Shields (USA) 1:50.61
2. Velimir Stjepanovic (EUR) 1:52.06
3. Roberto Pavoni (EUR) 1:52.87

Women’s 50m Freestyle — Europe 115, U.S. 106
1. Francesca Halsall (EUR) 23.93
2. Jeanette Ottesen Gray (EUR) 24.02
3. Simone Manuel (USA) 24.40

Men’s 50m Freestyle — Europe 115, U.S. 115
1. Jimmy Feigen (USA) 21.20
2. Cullen Jones (USA) 21.27
2. Anthony Ervin (USA) 21.27

Womens’ 200m Individual Medley — Europe 121, U.S. 118
1. Sophie Allen (EUR) 2:05.90
2. Caitlin Leverenz (USA) 2:06.77
3. Hannah Miley (EUR) 2:08.55

Men’s 200m Individual Medley — Europe 124, U.S. 124
1. Conor Dwyer (USA) 1:53.51
2. Roberto Pavoni (EUR) 1:54.20
3. Chase Kalisz (USA) 1:54.26

Women’s 400m Freestyle Relay — Europe 131, U.S. 124
1. Europe 3:27.70
2. U.S. 3:28.96

Men’s 400m Freestyle Relay — Europe, 131, U.S. 131
1. U.S. 3:06.66
2. Europe 3:07.95

Mixed 4x50m Medley Relay — U.S. 132, Europe 131
1. U.S. 1:37.17
2. Europe 1:37.37

Video: U.S., Canada in women’s hockey brawl

Russia track and field boss: ’50-60 percent’ chance of Olympics

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Russia’s new track and field federation president said he thinks his nation’s track and field athletes have “between 50 and 60 percent” of a chance of competing in the Rio Olympics, according to Reuters.

The IAAF is expected to rule June 17 whether Russia’s ban from international track and field competition will be lifted before the Rio Olympics.

Russia’s track and field athletes were banned indefinitely in November by the IAAF, after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report alleged widespread doping issues.

Russia was given criteria to earn reinstatement, and Dmitry Shlyakhtin, elected new Russian track and field chief in January, believes the situation has improved.

“A mouse would not be able to slip past us now!” Shlyakhtin said, according to Reuters.

Russia has recently come under more scrutiny following reports of widespread winter sports doping leading up to the Sochi Olympics and cheating during those Winter Games to avoid positive drug tests.

MORE: Yelena Isinbayeva to sue if barred from Rio Olympics

Yelena Isinbayeva to sue if barred from Rio Olympics

Yelena Isinbayeva
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MOSCOW (AP) — Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva plans to file suit if Russia’s ban from global track and field competition remains in place and she is barred from competing at the games in Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s a direct violation of human rights, discrimination,” Isinbayeva said.

Russia’s athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF in November after a World Anti-Doping Agency commission report detailed systematic, state-sponsored doping. The IAAF is due to rule next month on whether to reinstate Russia ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

“In the case of a negative ruling for us, I will personally go to an international court regarding human rights,” Isinbayeva said. “And I’m confident that I’ll win.”

Speaking from her home city of Volgograd in a Skype interview arranged by Russian track officials, Isinbayeva held up four forms documenting recent drug tests she had passed — proof enough, she said, that she should be allowed to compete in Rio.

“Of course I’m angry because of this helplessness. All I can do now is train,” she said, adding that young Russian athletes’ careers could be destroyed if they have to wait until 2020 to go to the Olympics. “Four years, it’s a long time. Many of them can be, how can you say, broken.”

Isinbayeva’s comments came as a key adviser to Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that Russia’s government supports making doping a criminal offense.

Adviser Nataliya Zhelanova told reporters at the ministry that the government hopes to get the law on the statute books for 2017, targeting coaches and officials who encourage or coerce athletes to dope. Fines or prison sentences were possible, she said, though this could change during the legislative process.

“It’s quite a long procedure but now everyone understood that we are in crisis and we have to do quick steps to fix the situation,” Zhelanova said.

In December, the IAAF asked the Russian track federation to consider lobbying for distribution and trafficking of doping substances to be made a criminal offense.

The new head of the Russian track federation maintained Russia was on track to meet IAAF conditions for reinstatement, but admitted to The Associated Press that a notorious training center was still part of the country’s track and field system.

The IAAF last year demanded the federation “immediately suspend all cooperation” with race-walking coach Viktor Chegin‘s state-funded center in the city of Saransk, which has been linked to more than 25 doping cases.

While Chegin was later banned for life, several of his top athletes are still competing and would be Olympic medal contenders if Russia is reinstated.

“I don’t rule out that (athletes are) living and training there,” Russian track and field president Dmitry Shlyakhtin said in an interview with the AP, adding that dozens of coaches who were part of Chegin’s hierarchy remained part of the federation’s system.

“If we shut down the Chegin center as a key point, we can’t stop and we won’t stop 75 coaches who are clean and transparent,” Shlyakhtin said.

Shlyakhtin said those coaches were working with children, but documents from this year’s national championships show top Russian walkers continuing to work with coaches from the main Chegin center. Officially, the athletes now represent local clubs and sports schools in and around the city.

Former Olympic gold medalist Olga Kaniskina, who lost her 2012 Olympic silver medal because of a doping ban, won the Russian 20-kilometer title in February in the fastest time recorded in the world this season. Federation documents list her as being coached by three trainers from the Chegin center and officially representing a children’s sports school, even though she is 31 years old.

“Kaniskina has finished her ban. She’s completely rehabilitated,” Shlyakhtin said. “Western people who are caught doping are not outcasts (either).”

Sergei Kirdyapkin, who lost his Olympic gold medal from 2012 due to a doping ban, is listed as being coached by Chegin center coaches, as is national champion Sergei Bakulin, who was stripped of his 2011 world championship gold. Both recently returned from doping bans.

Ahead of next month’s IAAF vote, Shlyakhtin said he was confident that Russia had made a significant effort to reform.

He said “90 percent” of the conditions for reinstatement had been fulfilled, including extra testing for Russia’s national track team in recent months and a shakeup of senior management.

Shlyakhtin suggested political interference, rather than a lack of reforms, could keep Russia out of the Rio Games, saying that countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, India and “especially China” deserved similar scrutiny on doping. He hinted that international officials turned a blind eye to some violations.

“The brakes are put on a lot of issues and they go away. Let’s all play fair according to one set of rules,” he said.

MORE: Russia’s top swimmer has meldonium ban lifted