By Nick Butler

Michael Jamieson celebrates after the crowd fired him to victory for Europe in Glasgow ©Getty ImagesDecember 20 - Scotland's Michael Jamieson inspired Europe to a surprise lead over the United States on the opening day of the Duel in the Pool in front of partisan support in Glasgow's Tollcross International Swimming Pool.

The US have dominated their two previous Duels against Europe, in Manchester 2009 and Atlanta in 2011, in what has been popularly dubbed the "Ryder Cup of swimming."

But, in the same pool that will be used during next year's Commonwealth Games, Europe are on course to break that trend after registering a 68-54 lead at the halfway point of the two-day meeting

Star of the day was London 2012 silver medallist Jamieson who, after recovering from a heart scare during a training session last month, stormed home to take 200 metre breaststroke victory in 2min 01.84sec ahead of German teammate Marco Koch, who Jamieson also beat last week on route to a silver medal at the European Short-course Championships in Herning.

The top US swimmer Kevin Cordes could only place third, although it was Europe's women who contributed most to their opening day lead.

Europe finished the day on a high with victory in the women's medley relay ©Getty ImagesEurope finished the day on a high with victory in the women's medley relay ©Getty Images

Leading the way was Spain's Mireia Belmonte, who has set short course world records over 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle this year, when she won the 400m individual medley in the opening race of the event.

Belmonte then added a second victory in the 400m freestyle, ahead of fellow Spaniard Melani Costa and Denmark's Lotte Friis in a European clean sweep, with the US world champion Katie Ledecky well adrift in sixth place.

Sweden's Michelle Coleman won the 100m freestyle, Ukraine's Daryna Zevina claimed top points in the 200m backstroke and another Dane in Jeanette Ottesen touched first over 100 butterfly.

Ottesen returned at the end of the session to join Britain's Fran Halsall, the Netherlands Moniek Nijhuis and Czech Republic's Simona Baumrtova to win again in the medley relay.

France's world champion Yannick Agnel ensured the men did not miss out when he led home British teammate Adam Brown for a surprise victory in his less favoured 100m freestyle.

France's 400m freestyler Yannick Agnel was another opening day winner for Europe ©Getty ImagesFrance's 400m freestyler Yannick Agnel was another opening day winner for Europe
©Getty Images

While Micah Lawrence gained the US their only female victory in the 200m breastroke, the men did enjoy more success that their female counterparts.

Eugene Godsoe in the 200m backstroke, Tom Shields 100m butterfly and Michael Klueh 400m freestyle all took individual wins before victory in the men's medley relay - the final event of the opening day - proved that all is not lost with a full day of action still to come.

The winning team will receive a pot prize fund of around £75,000 ($122,000/€90,000) to be shared between the swimmers and coaching staff.

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