Lilly King attained an unparalleled level of dominance during the International Swimming League’s inaugural season.
King won every single event she swam, including relays, which led the ISL to award her with a special “Undefeated Swimmer” prize for the unprecedented performance.
However, King’s dominance in the women’s breaststroke events only escalated in Season 2. The introduction of jackpot times allowed her to steal points from her competitors in rapid fashion, and despite the fact that her unbeaten streak was snapped after 30 races, she managed to pile up significantly more points relative to her competition than she did the previous season.
After taking 8th in the MVP points race in Season 1, King vaulted to 2nd in Season 2, scoring 350 to trail only her Cali Condor teammate and league MVP, Caeleb Dressel.
Now, early in 2021, King has once again started to display the form that has made it adamant in everyone’s mind that she’s the best female breaststroker in the world.
Competing in Indiana in late March, the 24-year-old recorded a time of 1:05.32 in the women’s 100 breaststroke, launching her into the #1 spot in the 2020-21 world rankings. She also swam a 4th-ranked time of 2:22.13 in the 200 breaststroke.
A few weeks later at USA Swimming’s Pro Swim Series meet in Mission Viejo, Calif., King matched her world-leading 100 breast time while coming within two-tenths of her previous 200 time, winning both races against the top swimmers in the United States.
“I’m pretty excited to be able to replicate those results,” King said in Mission Viejo, adding that 2:22 in the 200 is “becoming the norm” for her, showing how far she’s come in the longer event.
King now shifts her focus to the U.S. Olympic Trials, scheduled for mid-June, which is often regarded as the most pressure-packed meet on Earth. And not surprisingly, she’s bringing a lot of confidence with her.
“I think I’m a lot more of an experienced racer going into 2021,” King said regarding the difference between this year and the last Trials in 2016. “I think things are going to turn out pretty well. I’ll just be a little more of a veteran racer at this point.”
Should King advance through the Trials, she’ll head to the Summer Games in Tokyo with an eye on not only repeating her gold medal performance from 2016 in the 100 breaststroke, but also with the potential possibility of sweeping the women’s breaststroke events for just the second time in Olympic history.
And if all goes according to plan, King, Dressel and the rest of their Cali Condor teammates will enter Season 3 of the ISL with even more momentum as they look to become the first club to repeat the league championship title.
ABOUT THE ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition that saw the completion of a second successful in 2020 with competing teams from 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).
ISL SOCIAL: Keep up with all the latest ISL news by following @iswimleague on Instagram and Twitter and @internationalswimmingleaue on Facebook and YouTube.
ISL WEBSITE: https://isl.global
DIGITAL PLATFORM: Match highlights can be seen on the ISL digital platform ISLand, which can be accessed here.
RESULTS: The results of Season 2020 can be accessed here.
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