London Roar built on their overnight advantage to record their second victory of Season 2020 of the International Swimming League (ISL), joining the Cali Condors as the only other team with an unblemished record after two matches.
But it wasn’t easy for London in Match 5, as they were pushed hard by LA Current over the two competition days and are now top of the ISL standings, having competed in one more match than the Roar and Condors.
London won Match 5 with 499 points, ahead of LA on 478.5. Tokyo were third with 446.5, while DC Trident completed the quartet in fourth with 287.
Freya Anderson, Alia Atkinson and Guilherme Guido all won more than once race for London and Atkinson showed that London coach Mel Marshall was correct to select breaststroke for the women’s 50m skins elimination race by coming home first.
The Current’s trio of stars – Tom Shields, Beryl Gastaldello and Ryan Murphy – all produced impressive performances to help David Marsh’s team to another impressive performance and it was Shields who ended as match MVP.
London’s first win came in dramatic fashion when Marie Wattel touched the wall just ahead of LA’s Abbey Weitzeil in the women’s 4x100m freestyle.
Andreas Vazaios gave London their second victory in the men’s 200m individual medley, before Adam Peaty showed his class to win the men’s 50m breaststroke, having finished sixth in the 200m breaststroke earlier.
Atkinson matched her teammate in the women’s 50m breaststroke to put the Roar into the lead, which was then followed by a mental and physical triumph by Kira Toussaint to reach the wall first (25.96) in the women’s 50m backstroke, having already swum the 200m backstroke.
Toussaint, Wattel and Atkinson then teamed up with Freya Anderson, who anchored the 4x100m individual medley relay team to victory.
Anderson enjoyed London’s first win of Day 2, in the 100m backstroke, a victory that teammate Guido matched in the men’s race when he held off the fast-finishing Murphy over the final few strokes.
Atkinson won her second race of the match when she led home teammate Annie Lazor in the 100m breaststroke, before returning to win the final race of the match – the 50m skins elimination race, which Marshall had earlier determined would be the breaststroke after her team had won the 4x100m medley relay the day before.
“It was hard for us this morning and I think we have to make sure that we treat Day 2 as a new day,” Marshall said.
“We had some tired athletes and I think we battled hard. We have to go back and see how we can improve the details, but overall, the guys did great today.”
Gastaldello continued her rich vein of form from Match 3 when she opened Match 5 with victory in the women’s 100m butterfly, touching the wall in an impressive 55.84 and she later added a win in the 50m freestyle.
Shields matched her victory in the men’s 100m butterfly when he held off London’s Marius Kusch, the American becoming the only swimmer so far in Season 2020 to break the 49 second barrier (48.94).
In the 200m backstroke, Murphy was challenged by compatriot Jacob Pebley of the DC Trident and Ryosuke Irie of the Frog Kings but collected the points for Current in style by posting the fastest time in ISL history: 1:48.03.
Will Licon kept the Current’s run going with their fourth win in the opening six matches on Day 1 by touching home first in the men’s 200m breaststroke, while Kristian Gkolomeev used his international experience to get the victory in a field full of stars, being the only swimmer under 21 seconds (20.97).
The men’s 4x100m relay victory put the team ahead by half a point with three races to go, but LA stayed within touching distance with their relay victory in the men’s 4x100m individual medley to round off Day 1 in style.
Gastaldello opened Day 2 with victory in the 100m freestyle, though she was pushed hard by London’s Anderson. The competition clearly spurred Gastaldello on, as she finished with a French record (and personal best) of 51.30.
Shields claimed his second victory, in the 200m butterfly, which was followed by Tomoe Hvas beating the field in the men’s individual medley.
Andi Murez underlined LA’s strength in the freestyle by opening a big lead and holding off the fast finishing Anderson to finish in 1:53.58, before Gastaldello won the 50m butterfly, her seventh ISL victory in that distance.
LA’s relay team secured another victory, in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay, thanks to a powerful final leg by Abbey Weitzeil.
“There is always a different feeling in relay teams and sometimes you can go faster in the relay as you can get out of your head a bit,” Weitzeil said. “I think a lot of the girls have been stepping up and it is really strong throughout the team.
“I think relays are where teams shine, and I think that is shining through right now.”
Shields ended the match with yet another victory, after Marsh opted for butterfly as the stroke in the 50m skins elimination race. He did not disappoint and held off Tokyo’s Takeshi Kawamoto to become the first butterfly swimmer to win an ISL skins race.
Tokyo Frog Kings
Sakiko Shimizu claimed Tokyo’s first win of the match, in the 200m breaststroke, and Yui Ohashi added Tokyo’s second with a late kick in the women’s 200m individual medley.
Leah Smith and Chihiro Igarashi gave the team a boost with a one-two finish in the women’s 400m freestyle, and while Tokyo did not match the highs of its ISL debut a few days earlier, six second-place finishes and five third-place finishes showed their competitive potential.
On Day 2, Suzuka Hasegawa won the women’s 200m butterfly for the second time in two matches, finishing ahead of teammate Sakiko Shimizu in 2.03.38 that earned Tokyo 19 points.
Runa Imai also repeated her victory from Match 3 by touching home first in the women’s 100m individual medley before Katsuhiro Matsumoto recovered to win the men’s 200m freestyle with the most exciting performance of the day.
He had been leading for most of the race, but London’s Duncan Scott appeared to have caught him over the last 50m, before Matsumoto hauled in Scott in the final 10m to reach the wall first and become the only swimmer sub 1:42 so far this season.
Kawamoto gave Tokyo more to cheer when he won the men’s 50m butterfly, and Yasuhiro Koseki posted the upset of the day when he beat a pool full of Olympic and World Champions to win the men’s 100m breaststroke in 56.11.
Tokyo’s late surge continued with another one-two finish when Ohashi and Shimizu took the women’s 400m individual medley, followed by Kosuke Hagino claiming the men’s 400m individual medley.
“I think training has helped us get close as a team,” said Smith. “Today it was hard to get up and go knowing we did a good race last week. We did a great job of muscling through everything.
“We won so many races today and I really enjoyed watching everyone light it up.”
Amy Bilquist set DC going when she won the women’s 200m backstroke, but DC had to be patient for its next success: DC’s Zane Grothe and Velimir Stjepanovic led from the start in the Men’s 400m freestyle and never looked back, closing with amazing speed and great endurance to finish tied for first with a time of 3:41.46.
Zach Apple opened Day 2 with the team’s third victory, when he held off London’s Duncan Scott in the men’s 100m freestyle.
Trident were unable to add any more victories, but they ended Day 2 with two second-place finishes and four third-places to show their potential for future matches.
“The 200m back it something I protested about swimming for a long time,” Bilquist said. “There hasn’t been a ton of pressure on me, so I’ve been able to just go out there and swim fast and technically I need to rely more on my back half.
“Sometimes I go out there and want to go fast, but I shouldn’t worry about what everyone else is doing.”
Match 5 Results
100 Butterfly – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 55.84
200 Backstroke – Amy Bilquist, DC Trident – 2:01.29
200m Breaststroke – Sakiko Shimizu, Tokyo Frog Kings – 2:18.88
4 x 100m Freestyle – London Roar (Hopkin, Anderson, Kameneva, Wattel) – 3:27.48
50m Freestyle – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 23.76
200m Individual Medley – Yui Ohashi, Tokyo Frog Kings – 2:05.26
50m Breaststroke – Alia Atkinson, London Roar – 29.66
50m Backstroke – Kira Toussaint, London Roar – 25.96
400m Freestyle – Leah Smith, Tokyo Frog Kings – 4:00.18
4 x 100m Medley – London Roar (Toussaint, Atkinson, Wattel, Anderson) – 3:47.85
100m Freestyle – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 51.30
200m Butterfly – Suzuka Hasegawa, Tokyo Frog Kings – 2:03.38
100m Backstroke – Kira Toussaint, London Roar – 56.36
100m Individual Medley – Runa Imai, Tokyo Frog Kings – 58.02
200m Freestyle – Andi Murez, LA Current – 1 :53.58
50m Butterfly – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 24.95
100m Breaststroke – Alia Atkinson, London Roar – 1:03.75
4 x 100m Mixed Freestyle – LA Current (Ferreira, Gkolomeev, Gastaldello, Weitzeil) – 3:17.19
400m Individual Medley – Yui Ohashi, Tokyo Frog Kings – 4:26.48
50m Skins – Alia Atkinson, London Roar beat Anastasia Gorbenko, LA Current
100 Butterfly – Tom Shields, LA Current – 48.94
200 Backstroke – Ryan Murphy, LA Current – 1:48.03
200m Breaststroke – Will Licon, LA Current – 2:03.92
50m Freestyle – Kristian Gkolomeev, LA Current – 20.97
200m Individual Medley – Andreas Vazaios – 1:52.65
50m Breaststroke – Adam Peaty, London Roar – 26.10
4 x 100m Freestyle – LA Current (Rooney, Shields, Gkolomeev, Carter) – 3:06.24
50m Backstroke – Guilherme Guido, London Roar – 22.86
400m Freestyle – Zane Grothe, Velimir Stjepanovic (tie), DC Trident – 3:41.46
4 x 100m Medley – LA Current (Murphy, Silva Franca, Shields, Rooney) – 3:20.95
100m Freestyle – Zach Apple, DC Trident – 46.53
200m Butterfly – Tom Shields, LA Current – 1:50.28
100m Backstroke – Guilherme Guido, London Roar – 49.57
100m Individual Medley – Tomoe Hvas, London Current – 51.83
200m Freestyle – Katsuhiro Matsumoto, Tokyo Frog Kings – 1:41.77
50m Butterfly – Takeshi Kawamoto, Tokyo Frog Kings – 22.38
100m Breaststroke – Yasuhiro Koseki, Tokyo Frog Kings – 56.11
4 x 100m Mixed Freestyle – LA Current (Ferreira, Gkolomeev, Gastaldello, Weitzeil) – 3:17.19
400m Individual Medley – Kosuke Hagino, Tokyo Frog Kings – 4:01.52
50m Skins – Tom Shields, LA Current beat Takeshi Kawamoto, Tokyo Frog Kings
Match 5 MVP Standings
1 – Tom Shields, La Current – 62.5
2 – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 54.5
3 – Alia Atkinson, London Roar – 40.5
Season MVP Standings
1 – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 171.00
2 – Ryan Murphy, LA Current – 168.00
3 – Tom Shields, LA Current – 139.00
Match 5 Team Standings
1 – London Roar – 499.0 points
2 – LA Current – 478.5 points
3 – Tokyo Frog Kings – 446.5 points
4 – DC Trident – 287.0 points
ISL Season 2020 Team Standings
1 LA Current – 9 points
=2 Cali Condors – 8 points
=2 London Roar – 8 points
4 Iron – 6 points
5 Tokyo Frog Kings – 5 points
6 DC Trident – 4 points
6 DC Trident – 4 points
=7 Energy Standard – 3 points
=7 NY Breakers – 3 points
=9 Aqua Centurions – 2 points
=9 Toronto Titans – 2 points
ABOUT THE ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition now in season 2 with teams in Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar), North America (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers and Toronto Titans), and Asia (Tokyo Frog Kings).
Season 2020 is taking place at the Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary. Over 300 of the world’s best swimmers from over 50 countries are competing for over USD 6 million in prize money during the condensed, five-week event.
MATCH SCHEDULE: There will be 10 preliminary matches in total, with the top eight teams progressing to the semifinals. The top two teams from each semifinal will battle it out in the Grand Final on November 21 and 22. The full match schedule can be found here.
ISL SOCIAL: Keep up with all the latest ISL news by following @iswimleague on Instagram and Twitter and @internationalswimmingleague on Facebook and YouTube. Visit https://isl.global
MEDIA SERVICES: In countries that do not have a rights holder, the matches are being live streamed on the ISL digital platform ISLand, which can be accessed here.
The results, updated start lists and match standings can be accessed here.
Rights-free photo content is available here, please credit ISL.
Finally, 20 minutes after the end of each match, a virtual mixed zone will be held that can be accessed via this zoom link.
WHERE TO WATCH (BY COUNTRY / REGION): Please see the below links for digital coverage of ISL Season 2020.
Algeria, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Tunisia: BeIn Sports (https://connect.beinsports.com/)
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho , Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe: SuperSport (https://www.dstvafrica.com/home)
USA: CBS (https://www.cbssports.com/)
Canada: CBC (https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1809062979729)
Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Republica Dominicana, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela: Claro Sports
Brazil: TV Globo (https://globoplay.globo.com/)
Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, East Timor and Singapore: BeIn Sports (https://connect.beinsports.com/)
Japan: TV Asahi (https://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/)
India: Eurosport India (https://www.eurosportplayer.com/)
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Navassa Island, Puerto Rico, Saba, San Andrés, Providencia, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & The Grenadine, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Island and United States Virgin: ESPN (https://www.espnplayer.com/packages)
France, French Overseas Territories, Monaco, Andorra and Turkey: BeIn Sports (https://connect.beinsports.com/)
UK: BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/categories/sport/featured); Eurosport (https://www.eurosportplayer.com/)
Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark: Eurosport (https://www.eurosportplayer.com/)
Belarus: Belarus TV and Radio Company, Sport 1
Hungary: M4 (https://mediaklikk.hu/m4-elo)
Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Estonia: SPORT 1
Lithuania: Sport 1
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia: Sportklub
Israel: Sport 1
Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, the Palestinian territories, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen: BeIn
New Zealand: ESPN (https://www.espnplayer.com/packages)