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Over 100 Olympians are represented by the ISL, including 41 Olympic gold medals from the 2016 Olympic Games.
The inaugural match of the International Swimming League was a great success over the weekend in Indianapolis, as some of the best athletes in the sport put on a show for viewers worldwide.
Coming out with the victory was Energy Standard, who scored 539 points to top the runner-up Cali Condors (457) by 82.
Energy Standard head coach James Gibson feels the club was the best at executing their tactics on race day and that IS what ultimately earned them first place.
“We got the strategy right.,” said Gibson in a post-match interview. “Energy Standard had the best strategy in the field. The Cali Condors, on paper, looked exceptionally strong. Probably the strongest team out there. But I think we had a lot better strategy going into some of the races, especially the relays and the skins events at the end.”
Condor general manager Jason Lezak was pleased with how his club progressed as the match went on, going through a bit of a feeling out process early before settling in.
“It was interesting to see how it was going to play out for the athletes who had to do multiple events, and the strategy for the coaches of how many events to put them in,” said Lezak. “I think most of the teams did really well and they learned the first couple of sessions when athletes started getting tired.
“As the series progresses, I think we’re going to keep learning, and keep making changes to those lineups, and you’re going to see a lot of really, really good swimming.”
One major change coming to the Condors for this weekend’s match in Naples is the addition of Caeleb Dressel, who will be making his league debut after sitting out of Indianapolis. Gibson knows the addition of Dressel will make the match completely different than it was in Indy.
“We know all that’s going to change once Caeleb Dressel joins the party in Naples,” he said when asked about his club’s success in the relay and skins events in the first match. “When Caeleb comes in that’s a game changer. We’re not going to be complacent.”
Another thing Gibson is aware of is how quickly the American teams can bond and how that will positively influence their results in the pool.
“The ambience from the Cali Condors was fantastic, the athletes didn’t really know each other – although they are half of the American National Team – but then they’ll come together even stronger next week,” he said. “I think what we see in American sports teams is once they build that culture and build that relationship, they’re pretty relentless.
“So we’re aware. This week is this week, next week is next week, we got the touch on them. Next week it can all change.”
Besides the points race and the debut of Dressel, another focal point in Naples will be on the Aqua Centurions, who will be racing in front of their home crowd. The club possesses all 14 of the Italian athletes in the ISL.
Centurions GM Alessandra Guerra was in awe of the spectacle that the league put together at the first match.
“For the athletes and teams at the poolside , the scenery and graphics at Indianapolis were spectacular,” she said.
In terms of the club’s plan for Naples, Guerra is keeping her cards close to her chest but is happy with how the team has come together in such a short period of time.
“As far as we are concerned, the strategy of the Aqua Centurions will take into account the feedback of Indianapolis and the shape of the athletes,” she said. “The lineup for Naples will follow this criteria.”
“All our foreign acquisitions, Travis Mahoney (Australia), Poul Zellmann, Philip Heintz, Sarah Kohler (Germany) have adapted immediately to the Italian team and to the competition format, responding with energy and enthusiasm.”
The league’s second match featuring Energy Standard, the Cali Condors, Aqua Centurions and DC Trident will take place October 12th and 13th at 7 p.m. local time in Naples (1 p.m. ET).
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.
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
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Media Contact: James Mulligan ([email protected])
International Swimming League Ltd
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