Men set to race women in the pool when mixed-gender relays make World Cup debut in Dubai

Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The battle of the sexes has hit the pool.

The opening meeting of the World Cup in Dubai on Tuesday will feature 4x50 mixed-gender relays for the first time. Teams will be made up of two members of each sex and it is up to them to decide whether they want to race men against men or pit a woman against a man.

The initiative will feature at all eight World Cup meetings and swimming's governing body, FINA, has said the event will be introduced at the short-course world championships in Istanbul in December and could one day be an Olympic event.

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu said Monday that it is part of the effort to move the sport forward.

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