Loughborough to welcome University of Toronto for inaugural Duel in the Pool

James Wilby

On Saturday 3 November Loughborough will welcome the University of Toronto to campus for the inaugural ‘Duel in the Pool’ against the Canadian institution.

The head-to-head contest is set to be a brilliant battle, with Toronto boasting a similar world class line-up to that which the Loughborough Swimming Programme is famous for.

The 36 strong Toronto squad features Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games medallists, with Kylie Masse the standout name. The Canadian is reigning 100m backstroke world champion and double Commonwealth champion over the 100m and 200m, building on the bronze medal she won at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Masse is also former world record holder for her favoured 100m event and was the first Canadian woman in history to clinch a world title.

Rebecca Smith is another one to watch, the rising star striking relay gold at the 2017 World Junior Championships, before stepping into the senior ranks with bronze in the 4x100 mixed relay at the World Championships later that summer. Smith and her teammates went one better at the Commonwealth Games, this time in the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay, Smith swimming the fastest third leg of any nation.

On the men’s side Eli Wall is another key player having also competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, helping Canada to a fifth place finish in the 4x100m medley relay alongside a top eight finish in the 200m breaststroke.

Wall will have his work cut out though as he takes on James Wilby who struck gold in the 200m breaststroke back in April and his since then won silver in the 100m at the 2018 European Championships. His performance that day makes him the second fastest swimmer in history behind Adam Peaty.

Another Loughborough University student in action is French freestyler Marie Wattel, the Sports Management student having competed at Rio 2016 and won medals at the European long course and short course championships.

European 50m breaststroke silver medallist Imogen Clark is another key name in the Loughborough team, 2018 marking a big breakthrough year for the British champion as she won her first major medal and broke the Commonwealth record.

Of the prospect of a trans-atlantic clash, Clark said:

“I’m looking forward to racing the Canadians again, last time was at Ontorio Junior International in 2016 so it’s been a while and it will be good to race them on our home turf.”

The event will be run with a point style scoring system, with two swimmers from both universities contesting each event, with the winner picking up four points, down to one point for the fourth place finisher.

In true Loughborough style the event, which kicks off at 5pm, will come with bells and whistles, with tickets just £5 available online: https://bit.ly/2Qd8oLi

For those that can’t make it, the event will be live streamed HERE, so that fans in both the UK and Canada can witness the action. For full details follow @LboroSport on social media.