Energy Standard Paris fired a warning shot across the bows of its International Swimming League (ISL) rivals ahead of this weekend’s semifinals with a dominant performance in Match 9.
The defending ISL champions added 10 victories on Day 2 to the nine it earned on Day 1 to finish the match with 573.5 points. The Tokyo Frog Kings were pushed hard by Team Iron, but three wins from the four medley races allowed them to hold onto second place with 428 points. Iron finished in third on 415.5 points, followed by the Toronto Titans in fourth with 289.
Energy Standard’s Swedish star Sarah Sjostrom finished as Match MVP following four individual wins and two relay victories.
Taking place at the Duna Arena in Budapest, ISL Season 2020 is the biggest sports event of the year and is being broadcast in more than 140 countries and territories around the world. Click here to find out how to watch the action.
Strong start pays dividends for Standard
Standard entered Day 2 in a confident mood thanks to sterling Day 1 performances from its star swimmers, led by Sjostrom and Chad le Clos. Evgeny Rylov, Danas Rapsys, and Benedetta Pilato also enjoyed first-place finishes in the opener, while there were three wins for the relay teams.
Two of those wins came in the women’s and men’s 4x100m medley relays and meant that Energy Standard had the choice of stroke for the 50m skins elimination races.
Sjostrom led home another one-two finish to start Day 2. She touched the wall first in the 100m freestyle in 51.64 with teammate Femke Heemskerk second.
In the women’s 200m freestyle, favorite Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong not only won the race, she set an ISL and Asian record in the process with the fourth-fastest time in history (1:51.19). She jackpotted three swimmers to earn 15 points for her team.
“I’m really happy with my swim today, especially as we’ve had so many meets before this,” Haughey said. “The coaches took me out of the 100m to keep me fresh for this and it worked.”
Le Clos kept the wins coming in the 200m butterfly, overcoming the Frog Kings’ Yuki Kobori over the last 25 meters to finish in 1:50.24 and secure 15 points for his team. Kliment Kolesnikov then held off Iron’s Robert Glinta to win the 100m backstroke in 49.65.
Rapsys matched Haughey’s success in the men’s 200m freestyle and ensured another 200m-400m freestyle double with a 1:41.18 after holding off Tokyo’s Katsuhiro Matsumoto.
Haughey then anchored the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay team to victory in 3:16.81 along with Kolesnikov, Evgeny Rylov, and Pernille Blume.
To round off the match, Sjostrom and le Clos triumphed in the women’s and men’s 50m skins elimination race to ensure Energy Standard head to the semifinals with confidence running high.
“Awesome, that was great,” le Clos said after the skins. “I really wanted to win this race, it was a big honor for me, being the main event.
“I changed my goggles to my lucky goggles after the second race. I wasn’t planning to change them till the final.”
Frog Kings target trip to finals
The Frog Kings took time to find its feet on Day 1, but once Bruno Fratus won the men’s 50m freestyle, the 200m individual medley pair of Kosuke Hagino and Yui Ohashi quickly added two more.
Natsumi Sakai defeated a strong field in the 50m backstroke, while Takeshi Kawamoto tied with Toronto’s Shane Ryan in the men’s race before Leah Smith made it six victories for Tokyo by winning the women’s 400m freestyle.
The Frog Kings were quicker out of the blocks on Day 2, securing their first win in the second women’s race of the day, the 200m butterfly, which Suzuka Hasegawa won in 2:04.50, followed by teammate Sakiko Shimizu in second.
Runa Imai then won the women’s 100m individual medley with an impressive 58.04 over Energy Standard’s big guns Anastasiya Shkurdai and Sjostrom.
There was double success in the women’s and men’s 400m individual medleys. Ohashi won the women’s race in 4:25.84 with Shimizu ensuring another one-two finish, while Hagino was victorious in the men’s with 4:01.77.
“We are happy to have reached the semifinals, but our goal is to reach the final,” Tokyo captain Ryosuke Irie said. “We now have three days to rest and we will work hard to relieve our exhaustion.”
Iron fall just short
Emre Sakci secured Iron’s only victory on Day 1, in the men’s 50m breaststroke, but six second-place finishes and one third helped push the Budapest-based team into third.
Melanie Henique grabbed Iron’s first victory of Day 2, when she won the 50m butterfly in a pool full of superstars, including teammate Ranomi Kromowidjojo, who finished second, and Energy’s Sjostrom and Madeline Banic. All four swam under 25 seconds, but it was Henique’s monster effort of 24.62 that won the race and jackpotted half the field and 19 points.
Marco Orsi impressed in the men’s 100m individual medley with a time of 51.74, with teammate Yakov Toumarkin coming in third to boost the team’s points tally.
Forty-year-old Nicholas Santos rolled back the years to win the men’s 50m butterfly in 21.78, the second-fastest time in history and only 0.03 off his own world record. Santos jackpotted six swimmers to earn a whopping 30 points for Iron.
Iron’s Turkish delight Sakci added another win in the 100m breaststroke. His time of 55.74 was just outside the world record, the second time that he has come close in Season 2020.
“I will try again,” he said. “In my next match I will do it for the team.”
Sakci scored a valuable 19 valuable points that edged his team ahead of Tokyo at the time in the battle for second place, but the hometown team was ultimately unable to sustain the momentum.
Unlucky No.7 for Toronto
The Titans enjoyed seven wins in total over the two days of competition, though it was not enough to keep the ISL debutants off bottom spot.
Blake Pieroni grabbed an early victory on Day 2 when he finished the men’s 100m freestyle in 46.33. He led at the halfway stage and then held off the fast-finishing Rylov of the Energy Standard to touch home first.
Kylie Masse added another win in the 100m backstroke. Her time of 56.04 pushed Standard’s Seebohm into second and showed her continuing improvement over Season 2020.
“I’m really happy with that win,” Masse said. “It is my fastest time since being here. I can’t complain, getting the win was the priority and means good points for the team.”
Match 9 Results
100 Butterfly – Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 55.35
200 Backstroke – Lisa Bratton, Toronto Titans – 2.01.77.
200m Breaststroke – Kelsey Wog, Toronto Titans – 2:18.47
4 x 100m Freestyle – Energy Standard (Blume, Haughey, Heemskerk, Sjostrom) – 3:29.43
50m Freestyle – Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 23.42
200m Individual Medley – Yui Ohashi, Tokyo Frog Kings – 2:05.10
50m Breaststroke – Benedetta Pilato, Energy Standard – 29.13
50m Backstroke – Natsumi Sakai, Tokyo Frog Kings – 26.24
400m Freestyle – Leah Smith, Tokyo Frog King – 3:58.65
4 x 100m Medley – Energy Standard (Seebohm, Pilato, Shkurdai, Sjostrom) – 3:47.83
100m Freestyle – Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 51.64
200m Butterfly – Suzuka Hasegawa, Tokyo Frog Kings – 2:04.50
100m Backstroke – Kylie Masse, Toronto Titans – 56.04
100m Individual Medley – Runa Imai, Tokyo Frog Kings – 58.04
200m Freestyle – Siobhan Haughey, Energy Standard – 1:51.19
50m Butterfly – Melanie Henique, Iron – 24.62
100m Breaststroke – Benedetta Pilato, Energy Standard – 1:04.00
4 x 100m Mixed Freestyle – Energy Standard (Rylov, Kolesnikov, Blume, Haughey) – 3:16.81
400m Individual Medley – Yui Ohashi, Tokyo Frog Kings – 4:25.84
50m Skins – Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard beat Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Iron – 24.18
100 Butterfly – Chad le Clos, Energy Standard – 49.33
200 Backstroke – Evgeny Rylov, Energy Standard – 1:48.62
200m Breaststroke – Anton McKee, Toronto Titans – 2:03.41
50m Freestyle – Bruno Fratus, Tokyo Frog Kings – 20.98
200m Individual Medley – Kosuke Hagino, Tokyo Frog Kings – 1:52.84
50m Breaststroke – Emre Sakci, Iron – 25.43
4 x 100m Freestyle – Toronto Titans (Kisil, Chadwick, Pieroni, Hayden) – 3:06.09
50m Backstroke – Takeshi Kawamoto, Tokyo Frog Kings and Shane Ryan, Toronto Titans – 23.10
400m Freestyle – Danas Rapsys, Energy Standard – 3:39.66
4 x 100m Medley – Energy Standard (Kolesnikov, Shymanovich, le Clos, Shevtsov) – 3:22.08
100m Freestyle – Blake Pieroni, Toronto Titans – 46.33
200m Butterfly – Chad le Clos, Energy Standard, – 1:50.24
100m Backstroke – Kliment Kolesnikov, Energy Standard – 49.65
100m Individual Medley – Marco Orsi, Iron – 51.74
200m Freestyle – Danas Rapsys, Energy Standard – 1:42.18
50m Butterfly – Nicholas Santos, Iron – 21.78
100m Breaststroke – Emre Sakci, Iron – 55.74
4 x 100m Mixed Freestyle – Energy Standard (Rylov, Kolesnikov, Blume, Haughey) – 3:16.81
400m Individual Medley – Kosuke Hagino, Tokyo Frog Kings – 4:01.77
50m Skins – Chad le Clos, Energy Standard beat Takeshi Kawamoto, Tokyo Frog Kings – 23.43
1 Energy Standard – 573.5
2 Tokyo Frog Kings – 428.0
3 Iron – 415.5
4 Toronto Titans – 289.0
1 Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard, 76
2 Chad le Clos, Energy Standard, 54
3 Emre Sakci, Iron, 52
TEAM STANDINGS AFTER MATCH 9
1 Energy Standard – 15 points after 4 matches
2 Cali Condors – 12 points after 3 matches
=3 Iron – 11 points after 4 matches
=3 London Roar – 11 points after 3 matches
5 Tokyo Frog Kings – 10 points after 4 matches
6 LA Current – 9 points after 3 matches
7 Toronto Titans – 8 points after 4 matches
8 NY Breakers – 6 points after 4 matches
9 DC Trident – 5 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.