BRISBANE, Australia — Haley Cope outlasted Inge de Bruijn in the anchor leg of the 400-meter freestyle relay today to help clinch an American victory over Europe in the opening event of the Goodwill Games swimming program.
American Kirsten Caverly won the 200 breaststroke and the 400 individual medley, and teammate Amy Balcerzak-Field took the 50 and 100 breaststroke events to give the Americans an 82-67 victory in the head-to-head team competition.
The teams were tied after six and 10 races, and the Americans held a 54-52 lead after 13 of 17 races at the Chandler Aquatic Center. Australia faced the World team later today.
For Europe, Yana Klochkova of the Ukraine won the 800 medley and the 200 medley.
In the opening women's race, de Bruijn, the world record holder in 50 and 100 freestyle and butterfly events, swam the anchor leg in the 400 medley relay as Europe took an early 7-0 lead over the Americans.
De Bruijn later won the 50 freestyle in 25.20 seconds, more than a second over her world record of 24.13.
"I'm usually competing against some of these girls, but here it's about getting as many points as you can for your team, and that's a lot of fun," de Bruijn said.
Each team will face the other three once in the round-robin format, with the top two teams competing for the gold medal and the bottom two for bronze later in the games.
The men's competition is scheduled for later today, with the strong Australians led by Ian Thorpe taking on the United States, and Europe facing the World.
The U.S. swim team is without Lenny Krayzelburg, Anthony Ervin, Tom Dolan, Aaron Peirsol, Michael Phelps, Brooke Bennett and Megan Quann --all of them either Olympic or world champions.