Caeleb Dressel and Lilly King maintained their rich vein of form in the International Swimming League (ISL), helping the Cali Condors overcome the challenge from London Roar to win Match 8.
The San Francisco-based team won eight of Friday’s 19 races in a sensational Day 2 at the Duna Arena in Budapest. Dressel and King topped the MVP standings after reinforcing their superstar credentials over two days of thrilling racing.
The Condors edged the Roar, ending with 507 points to London’s 491.5. The Tokyo Frog Kings finished strongly to take third place (419) with the NY Breakers in fourth (296.5).
Dressel won three individual races before coming unstuck in the energy-sapping skins finale, perhaps a race too far. King had another outstanding day, beating fierce rival Alia Atkinson of the Roar in both the 100m breaststroke and the skins final.
“She’s just so consistent and at the moment she is on fire,” said poolside pundit Mark Foster. “What’s so impressive is how quickly she recovers after each race. It never hurts when you win.”
After three weeks of high drama in ISL season two, the match-up between the Condors and Roar – the only two unbeaten teams remaining – was touted as “the biggest day of the season” by the pundits.
It’s the first of two matches between the Condors and Roar in the space of five days; the two square up again in Match 10 on November 9 and 10, the final meet of the regular season before the semifinals, along with the LA Current and Aqua Centurions.
The US team held a narrow points lead coming into Day 2 of the biggest sports event of the year.
The Condors and Roar dominated the opening exchanges to gather quick points. But the Frog Kings were delighted with their performance. As the Breakers struggled for points, Tokyo pulled off a couple of upsets and won five races in all.
Condors spread their wings
Dressel got the Condors going by winning the 100m freestyle in supreme fashion, with Justin Ress making it a 1-2 finish. He went on to score firsts in the 100m individual medley and 50m butterfly.
Eddie Wang came from behind and outpaced the competition in the final 50m of the 200m butterfly to get more valuable points. And Townley Haas cruised to a victory in the 200m freestyle.
Commenting on the battle with London, Haas said: “It was a great meet, a pretty tight race the entire time. But we were able to get the win so that was huge.”
King showed why she’s queen of breaststroke and remains unbeaten in ISL seasons one and two. Her defeat of world record holder Atkinson in the 100m breaststroke, which went down to the touch, gave her a psychological edge going into the skins.
The Condors had chosen the breaststroke for the skins to play to their strengths – and King duly delivered. She won the opening two rounds and then got bragging rights with a final flourish to bag 33 points for the Condors.
King now has a staggering 30 wins from 30 races in her ISL career.
Asked what it was like watching King from the sidelines, Haas said: “She’s just incredible to watch. It’s hard to put in words how great she is in the water. She’s all about the team and lots of fun.”
Condors’ General Manager Jason Lezak was pleased with the team’s overall performance: “It feels good. I knew coming in today that it would be a tough battle. But we got off on the right foot and held on.”
Roar look for marginal gains
Freya Anderson was the star for London, kicking off proceedings with a stunning victory in the 100m freestyle, her teammate Marie Wattel coming third.
She also timed it right to claim the 200m freestyle and again put on the gas to claim the spoils in the mixed 4x100m freestyle, grabbing 18 points for the Roar. Kira Toussaint beat her archrival Olivia Smoliga to take the 100m backstroke.
But Tokyo’s Yasuhiro Koseki took down Olympic champion Adam Peaty in the 100m breaststroke and London missed out on point-scoring opportunities elsewhere. They were jackpotted in the women’s 200m butterfly, losing their points.
Vini Lanza, who came third for the Roar in the men’s 200m butterfly, said: “You always have races that don’t go your way. We know we can get better, we can build from this. I think the team spirit was great, we fought to the end. I’m very proud. I can guarantee we will be better in the future.”
Peaty redeemed himself with a powerful display of sprinting in the 50m breaststroke skins race to edge out Koseki and claim 33 points.
Frog Kings leap up scoreboard
Suzuka Hasegawa’s shock win over the Condors’ Hali Flickinger opened Tokyo’s account. And they continued to thrill and surprise throughout the meet.
Ryosuke Irie secured a comfortable win in the men’s 100m backstroke before Koseki upset Peaty in the 100m breaststroke with an astonishing turn of speed.
Tomoru Honda snatched an impressive second in the men’s 200m Butterfly and Miho Teramura grabbed third in the women’s 100m individual medley as Tokyo got on a roll at end of the match.
Tokyo dominated the 400m individual medley races. Yui Ohashi cruised to a win in the women’s race, her third win in the distance this season. Kosuke Hagino did the business in the men’s contest.
Frog Kings head coach Dave Salo was delighted. “It’s wild and wicked … the 100m breaststroke was a big surprise. They’re [the Condors and Roar] thinking about each other and not thinking about us. We did a pretty good job today.”
Breakers’ Timmers retires
The Breakers couldn’t raise their game in the pool today, with points hard to come by.
The team recorded only one win. Arina Surkova nicked the 50m butterfly at the death in a closely fought race. Kasia Wasick went out fast in the women’s 100m freestyle but got squeezed out of first by Anderson, coming second.
The Breakers got some crucial points with a second and third in the men’s 400m individual medley but it was too little too late.
For Belgian sprint freestyle specialist Pieter Timmers, Match 8 signaled the end of his career. The Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist had been planning to retire at the Tokyo Olympics before the COVID-19 pandemic hit but decided to bring the curtain down in Budapest.
Part of the Breakers’ team that came third in the mixed 4x100m freestyle and fourth in the men’s 100m freestyle, he also competed in several other races at this meet.
“I’m going to retire now, this was my last race. I really enjoyed it. It’s been a long four weeks so I’m happy to go back to my family now,” he said.
“I lived this day like I am going to remember it. The team had celebrations for me … and they cheered so loudly it gave me some goosebumps. It was really nice to go out with a blast.”
Day One, Match 8 winners
1.Women’s 100m Butterfly – Kelsey Dahlia, Cali Condors – 56.15
2. Men’s 100m Butterfly – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 49.33
3. Women’s 200m Backstroke – Beata Nelson, Cali Condors – 2:02.31
4. Men’s 200m Backstroke – Radoslaw Kawecki, Cali Condors – 1:48.12
5. Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Lilly King, Cali Condors – 2:15.80
6. Men’s 200m Breaststroke – Marco Koch, NY Breakers – 2:01.40
7. Women’s 4x100m Freestyle – London Roar (Anderson, Kamaneva, Wattel, Hopkin) – 3:28.73
8. Men’s 50m Freestyle – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 20.65
9. Women’s 50m Freestyle – Kasia Wasick, NY Breakers – 23.47
10. Men’s 200m Individual Medley – Andreas Vazaios, London Roar – 1:52.41
11. Women’s 200m Individual Medley – Melanie Margalis, Cali Condors – 2:04.18
12. Men’s 50m Breaststroke – Adam Peaty, London Roar – 25.98
13. Women’s 50m Breaststroke – Lilly King, Cali Condors – 29.20
14. Men’s 4x100m Freestyle – Cali Condors (Majchrzak, Ress, Cieslak, Dressel) – 3:06.07
15. Women’s 50m Backstroke – Kira Toussaint, London Roar – 25.79
16. Men’s 50m Backstroke – Coleman Stewart, Cali Condors –23.21
17. Women’s 400m Freestyle – Leah Smith, Tokyo Frog Kings – 3:59.70
18. Men’s 400m Freestyle – Felix Aubock, NY Breakers – 3:39.05
19. Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay – Cali Condors (Smoliga, King, Dahlia, Hinds) – 3:47.79
20. Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay – London Roar (Guido, Peaty, Lanza, Scott) –3:22.97
Day 2, Match 8 winners
21. Women’s 100m Freestyle – Freya Anderson, London Roar –51.87
22. Men’s 100m Freestyle – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 46.12
23. Women’s 200m Butterfly – Suzuka Hasegawa, Tokyo Frog Kings – 2:03.53
24. Men’s 200m Butterfly – Eddie Wang, Cali Condors – 1:50.90
25. Women’s 100m Backstroke – Kira Toussaint, London Roar – 55.68
26. Men’s 100m Backstroke – Ryosuke Irie, Tokyo Frog Kings – 49.82
27. Women’s 100m Individual Medley – Beata Nelson, Cali Condors – 58.37
28. Men’s 100m Individual Medley – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 51.11
29. Women’s 200m Freestyle – Freya Anderson, London Roar – 1:52.60
30. Men’s 200m Freestyle –Townley Haas, Cali Condors – 1:41.58
31. Women’s 50m Butterfly – Arina Surkova, NY Breakers – 25.46
32. Men’s 50m Butterfly – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 22.41
33. Women’s 100m Breaststroke –Lilly King, Cali Condors – 1:03.39
34. Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Yasuhiro Koseki, Tokyo Frog Kings – 56.27
35. Mixed 4x100m Freestyle – London Roar (Scott, Vekovishchev, Hopkin, Anderson) – 3:16.84
36. Women’s 400m Individual Medley – Yui Ohashi, Tokyo Frog Kings – 4:25.53
37. Men’s 400m Individual Medley – Kosuke Hagino, Tokyo Frog Kings – 4:01.41
38. Women’s 50m Breaststroke Skins – Lilly King, Cali Condors, beats London Roar’s Alia Atkinson in final – 29.04
39. Men’s 50m Breaststroke Skins – Adam Peaty, London Roar, beats Yasuhiro Koseki of Tokyo Frog Kings in final – 26.65
Match 6 MVP Standings
1. Caeleb Dressel – 69pts
2. Lilly King – 51pts
3. Adam Peaty – 44.5pts
1. Cali Condors – 507
2. London Roar – 491.5
3. Tokyo Frog Kings –419
4. NY Breakers –296.5
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER MATCH 8:
1 Cali Condors – 12 points after 3 matches
=2 Energy Standard – 11 points after 3 matches
=2 London Roar – 11 points after 3 matches
=4 Iron – 9 points after 3 matches
=4 LA Current – 9 points after 3 matches
=6 Tokyo Frog Kings – 7 points after 3 matches
=6 Toronto Titans – 7 points after 3 matches
8 NY Breakers – 6 points after 4 matches
9 DC Trident – 6 points after 4 matches
10 Aqua Centurions – 3 points after 3 matches
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
WHERE TO WATCH: Links to the broadcasters showing the matches live can be found here.
DIGITAL PLATFORM: 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.
RESULTS: The results, updated start lists and match standings can be accessed here.
VIRTUAL MIXED ZONE: Finally, 20 minutes after the end of each match, a virtual mixed zone will be held that can be accessed via this zoom link.