Phelps to make first UK appearance in Duel in the Pool in December
MICHAEL Phelps looks set for his first ever British appearance in December as Europe and the USA will do battle in the Ryder Cup of swimming.
BRITAIN BOUND: Michael Phelps to make his first appearance in the UK in December
Great Britain will team up with Italy and Germany to face American stars such as 14-time Olympic champion Phelps at the Manchester Aquatics Centre in what has been billed as the Duel in the Pool.
The format will see both teams including up to 18 men and 18 women with British Swimming, Germany and Italy sending a team of six men and six women each for the short course (25m) meet.
And double Olympic gold medallist Adlington, who could team up with world 400m freestyle champion Federica Pellegrini, believes the event is sure to give swimming's British profile a boost.
"Following the success of the World Short Course last year, it's great that the British public will have another opportunity to watch a world class swimming event in Manchester this December," said Adlington.
"It's been an outstanding year for British Swimming with a best ever medal haul at the World Championships in Rome and it seems only fitting to finish the year on a high with the greatest talent Europe and the USA have to offer going head-to-head.
"To be able to watch the cream from Britain, Italy and Germany race the best of the United States, including Michael Phelps in the UK for the first time, is an amazing opportunity."
Should Phelps - the marquee name of world swimming - make the trip to Manchester, it would be a major coup for British Swimming and he alone would be sure to pull in the crowds.
And British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes is only too aware of potential success of the event.
"The concept of a USA versus a European Select team was first raised during the World Championships in 2005," said Sparkes.
"We expect to host a very strong USA team packed full of mega stars.
"Alongside our own Becky Adlington, Liam Tancock, Gemma Spofforth and Jo Jackson, we will also welcome some of Europe's greatest swimmers to bring to Manchester the best swimming it's ever seen in a head-to-head challenge.
"What better preparation for all swimmers and spectators alike prior to 2012?"
Executive Director for USA Swimming Chuck Wielgus added: "The Duel in the Pool is an event that we are extremely proud of.
"This event allows us to keep the excitement of international swimming - which was such a runaway hit during the Olympics - in the public spotlight.
"We expect a fantastic field of top American and European swimmers to compete in Manchester and we look forward to seeing fast swims and great racing at this duel meet."
Spectators wishing to see the likes of Phelps and Adlington in action as the European Select take on the USA can buy reserved seating tickets now by visiting www.duelinthepool.com <http://www.duelinthepool.com/>