U.S. leads after first day of Duel in the Pool

AP
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Ryan Lochte helped the U.S. to a healthy lead over Europe on the first day of Duel in the Pool, a Ryder Cup-style meet, in Indianapolis on Friday night.

Lochte won the 400m individual medley and, about 25 minutes later, took third in the 200m backstroke.

The U.S. leads Europe 74-48 halfway through the two-day meet. Full results can be found here.

In each event, first-place finishers get five points, second gets three points and third gets one point. Relays are winner-take-all for seven points.

Lochte has rarely contested the 400m IM since he won the 2012 Olympic title.

“I might need another day to recover,” Lochte told NBC’s Carolyn Manno. “I haven’t done that event in a long time.”

Europe was led by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who swept the women’s 400m IM and 200m back in the same 25-minute span.

From the media mixed zone, Hosszu heckled Lochte and asked how he fared in the double.

“It hurt,” he said. “I can definitely tell that I’m getting old. It felt good though to get those races back in and doing the doubles again. Definitely know I need more training because I should have been a lot better in the backstroke.”

Missy Franklin took third in the 200m back. She is the Olympic champion and world-record holder in the event in 50-meter pools, but the Duel in the Pool is contested in a 25-meter pool.

The U.S. swept the men’s and women’s 200m breaststrokes and 4x100m medley relays.

A U.S. quartet with no Olympic experience broke the women’s medley relay world record that had been set by Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Franklin in 2011.

The U.S. also went one-two in both 100m freestyles thanks to Simone Manuel and Lia Neal and Nathan Adrian and Josh Schneider.

Duel in the Pool concludes Saturday (2 p.m. ET, USASwimming.org). NBC will air coverage of the meet Dec. 19 from 4-6 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports analyst Rowdy Gaines doesn’t see the U.S. having to change much in order to maintain their lead over the European team.

“They don’t have to get a lot of wins,” he said. “They can just get a bunch of second and thirds, some splits here and there. I can’t see them losing the relays – that’s 14 points right there.”

The U.S. won all six previous Duel in the Pool competitions, which have been held in odd-numbered years. The first three came against Australia before the switch to U.S.-Europe.

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NBC Olympics swimming producer Rachel Lutz contributed to this report from Indianapolis.