Phelps in the shade as US bags five world records

It was a duel, but only one side had a pistol. America took a commanding, almost embarrassing, lead last night over Europe's E-Stars in the first "Duel in the Pool" to be staged in Britain.

When the two-day event resumes here today, the score will read 89-33 in favour of the visitors and home hopes will be down to two: slim and none. And slim will surely drown.

Not that winning and losing is the main motivation this weekend for the organisers, British Swimming. It is all about raising the profile of the sport on these shores, and what better way to do that than invite the most successful Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, and his mates to a party? Metaphorically, they trashed the place. They will probably do so again this afternoon, live on BBC 1.

On the plus side, last night there were colour, noise, a sell-out crowd of 2,000 and five world records, all to the United States, in the first 14 of 30 events. The other 16 are today. Six swimmers, three from each side, contest each race, with five points for a win, three for second and one for third.

Honourable mentions last night for E-Stars individuals go to Liverpool's Fran Halsall and Lizzie Simmonds from Lincoln. Halsall won the 100 metres freestyle and 100m butterfly, while Simmonds took the 200m backstroke. The double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington was beaten into second in the 400m freestyle by Allison Schmitt.

Phelps did not waltz away with the show for one reason. Unlike most of the competitors, he shunned the polyurethane bodysuits that will be banned from next month. Instead the 24-year-old, 14-times Olympic champion wore a 2010 fabric jammer, limiting his competitiveness against rivals dressed in shiny gear. Sheer class told anyway as he won the 100m butterfly, although he could do no better than third in the 100m freestyle last night. He also earned some of the biggest cheers of the evening just for being here.

In an event sponsored by British Gas, the US overall were cooking on it and the E-Stars (in mitigation from only Britain, Germany and Italy) were mostly toast. It was decent entertainment though. Think the Ryder Cup, but wetter, without the golf, and with some genuine camaraderie between team members. Or the IPL, in water, without the cricket, and in dressing gowns, at least to begin with.

The Americans got down to business the moment they disrobed, clocking three world records in the first two races. First the US women won the 4x100m medley relay, then the US men did the same, with Nick Thoman setting an individual world backstroke mark in that opening leg.

Julia Smit then set a world record in the 400m individual medley, with Scotland's Hannah Miley recording a European record in third. Rebecca Soni set the other world mark, in the 200m breaststroke

Battle, or more accurately trouncing, resumes at 2.30pm.

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower