Over 100 Olympians are represented by the ISL, including 41 Olympic gold medals from the 2016 Olympic Games.

The inaugural match of the new International Swimming League lived up to expectations as fans and athletes alike were treated to an exciting two-day affair in Indianapolis.

The energetic vibe created by both the setup and the crowd was something the swimmers really enjoyed.

“I think it honestly exceeded expectations, not only with the energy but the hype,” said Cali Condor female captain Olivia Smoliga post-match. “You could just feel the amount of energy that was put into this meet with all of the decorations and lights and atmosphere. People showed up, and they were cheering really hard.”

“I think the meet itself delivered to all expectation and hype,” added Condor male captain Mitch Larkin.

Katie Ledecky, a five-time Olympic champion who has been the most dominant athlete in the sport over the last six years, was a big fan of the fast-paced nature of the event.

“I think it went about as well as it could have gone,” said the 22-year-old ISL ambassador. “The meet flowed really smoothly. I think the biggest thing we all had to get used to was how quickly the meet ran, which was awesome. Things were on schedule, and the lights, the music, all of it really made for a great environment, so as an athlete you can’t really ask for anything more.”

After the league officially got underway with the first day of competition on Saturday, Sunday marked the first-ever ISL skins competition, which is a three-round elimination 50 freestyle scoring triple points.

Energy Standard teammates Sarah Sjöström and Florent Manaudou were victorious in the opening skins match and really got a kick out of the experience.

“It was so much fun. I was really enjoying it,” said Sjöström. “The skins was a really tough one. I’d done the skins before in long course but never in short course, so it was a big challenge.”

“It was so fun. I think we needed that before, and the ISL gives us (the skins event),” said Manaudou, who has less of an endurance base behind him than Sjöström. 

“It was so hard. For me it was so hard I think because I’m a pure sprinter and everything, but it was a lot of fun. I never smiled after a race like that.”

Asked if he went all-out on the first 50, Manaudou replied: “No. I tried to swim (the first one) like the first 50 of a 100, but a little bit faster. The second was around 90-95%, and then the third was a fight.”

“It’s like a fight. It’s a real fight,” he said.

Energy Standard placed first in the match with 539 points, clearing the Cali Condors (457) by 82. However, moving into next weekend’s tilt in Naples, Smoliga and Larkin feel confident the Condors can get themselves into the win column.

“I think the Cali Condors performed out of their skin,” said Larkin. “Obviously in Naples we’ve got a few additions, with Caeleb Dressel coming to the team which certainly helps with some of the skins events and some of the relays. The Energy Standard team pulled away with their skins tonight but I think we can stick it to them in the next couple of weeks.”

“Our team is so close,” said Smoliga. “It’s just going to get stronger and stronger as the meets continue.”

About the ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport.

Key Dates:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

ISL SOCIAL: Keep up with all the latest ISL news by following @iswimleague on Instagram and Twitter and @internationalswimmingleague on Facebook. Visit

Media Contact: James Mulligan ([email protected])  

International Swimming League Ltd

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