On November 18th and 19th, match 14 of the Third Season of the ISL (the third match of the play-off stage) was held at the “Pieter van den Hoogenband Zwemstadion” swimming arena in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The French Energy Standard (ENS), the Canadian Toronto Titans (TOR), the American DC Trident (DCT) and the Italian Aqua Centurions (AQC) took part in the match.
For all four teams, their first match in Eindhoven was not the most fortunate. Although, Energy’s last-minute defeat to the Condors did not hurt their chances of getting into the Final Four. As for the Titans, their chances of getting to the Finals were dashed even by finishing 2nd, while the 3rd place was a total loss for them. The Centurions and the Tridents are fighting just for “the honor and glory” at this point.
The final result of the match:
Energy Standard – 583 points (4 club points)
Toronto Titans – 407 (3)
Aqua Centurions – 390 (2)
DC Trident – 383 (1)
Whereas team Energy took the lead quite quickly and only strengthened their dominance overtime, the battle for the 2nd and the 3rd place was intense and quite fickle. The highlight of the match was Ilya SHYMANOVICH’s WORLD RECORD in the men’s 100m breaststroke. He finished in 55.32 seconds beating his own record by 0.02 seconds.
In the first six swims of the match all four clubs had at least 1 win. In the meantime, three times the winner did not get any jackpot points and once the jackpot was minimal – 10 points.
The other two convincing victories came from Aqua and the Titans, both with a 15-point jackpot. First, the Centurion Matteo RIVOLTA won the men’s 100m. It should also be mentioned that Camden MURPHY and Zack HARTING brought a total of 13 points to the Tridents for the 2nd and 3rd place. Then, the Titan Kylie MASSE took the 1st place in the women’s 200m backstroke, beating Anastasiya SHKURDAI of the Standard by nearly a second. Her teammate Lisa BRATTON added another 6 points for the 3rd place.
Louise HANSSON of the Titans was 1st in the women’s 100m butterfly without a jackpot, beating Energy’s Sarah SJOSTROM by 0.08 seconds. The Titans earned a total of 11 points for the 1st and 7th place, while Energy took 13 for the 2nd and 3rd place finishes.
Evgenii RYLOV from the Standard won the men’s 200m backstroke without a jackpot. Standard took 11 points overall, only slightly beating the Centurions who took 10 and the Titans who took 9. RYLOV’s teammate Ilya SHYMANOVICH was 1st in the men’s 200m breaststroke (no jackpot).
The Trident’s Maria TEMNIKOVA finished 1st in the same distance for women with a minimum jackpot. DC took 12 points in the swim, leaving the other teams behind only symbolically as Energy received 11 total points for the 3rd and 4th places and the Titans got 10 for the 2nd and 6th.
Incidentally, the second and the last victory of the Tridents on Day 1 was in the men’s 50m backstroke, where Mark NIKOLAEV beat Kliment KOLESNIKOV by more than 0.5 second and took a terrific jackpot of 19 points.
A certain change in the team standings came after the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, when Energy’s first relay team (Siobhan HAUGHEY, Fanny TEIJONSALO, Femke HEEMSKERK, Sarah SJOSTROM) took the win and a jackpot of 38 points (remember, that the points are doubled in the relays), finishing 0.3 seconds ahead of the Titans (Kasia WASICK, Michelle COLEMAN, Louise HANSSON, Kayla SANCHEZ).
The position of the teams after the first third of Day 1 was as follows:
ENS – 98
TOR – 80
AQC – 60
DCT – 51.
As it can be seen, each team was within reach of its nearest pursuer.
Energy’s success in the women’s relay was followed by Ben PROUD’s win in the men’s 50m freestyle with a jackpot 12 points and then by Sarah SJOSTROM on the same distance for women with a jackpot of 24 points. SJOSTROM renewed her League record in this swim setting it to 23.08 seconds.
In the next swim, the men’s 200m individual medley, Energy failed to score any points as their representatives finished 7th and 8th. The victory went to the Titan’s Alberto RAZZETTI with a jackpot of 12 points, to which Max LITCHFIELD added 6 points for the 3rd place.
On the same distance for women, the Standard made up for their previous loss: Mary-Sophie HARVEY finished first with a minimum jackpot and Viktoria GUNES added 5 extra points for the 4th place. The Trident’s swimmers Bailey ANDISON and Zsuzsanna JAKABOS finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, and brought 13 points to their team.
Afterwards, the Centurions had a winning streak that put them into the 2nd place. First, in the exciting men’s 50m breaststroke race, Nicolo MARTINENGHI beat Energy’s Ilya SHYMANOVICH by 0.01 seconds and his teammate Fabio SCOZZOLI by 0.03 seconds. Aqua were able to earn 18 points in this race.
The success was followed by Arianna CASTIGLIONI’s win on the same distance for women with a jackpot of 12 points. Another Centurion Martina CARRARO came in 2nd, 0.01 seconds ahead of the Standard’s Siobhan HAUGHEY.
Finally, in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, the first relay team of the Centurions (Alessandro MIRESSI, Vladislav GRINEV, Thamas CECCON and Matteo CIAMPI) won with a jackpot of 38 points.
At this point the position of the clubs was as follows:
ENS – 181
AQC – 160
TOR – 139
DCT – 97
After a series of successful swims, Aqua ran out of luck and in the next part of the match and took only 12 points in four swims. In the men’s 50m backstroke they did not score any and in the women’s 400m freestyle they received a penalty point.
The Titans, on the other hand, had a double in the women’s 50m backstroke by Kylie MASSE (no jackpot) and Louise HANSSON.
Moreover, in the men’s 400m freestyle, Luc KROON took the 1st place with a minimum jackpot and Max LITCHFIELD took the 2nd. However, here, the Titans only managed to take 17 points overall, while the 3rd place finisher Kregor ZIRK from the Standard took 18 points, thanks to a 12-point jackpot at the 100m mark.
In the same event for women, the young Titan star Summer McINTOSH battled out with the mighty Siobhan HAUGHEY of Energy but finished 0.7 seconds behind and took 9 points only (including 2 for the 4th place at the 100m mark). The Trident’s Joanna EVANS also earned 9 points for being 3rd both on the finish line and at the intermediate finish. Her teammate Leah NEALE took one point more despite her final 6th place as she was 1st at the 100m with a jackpot of 7 points.
Due to extra points in the 400m swims, these distances take on a special significance for the teams. So, out of 106 points that were played out in the two final individual distances, Energy took 39, the Titans and the Tridents took 30 each and the Centurions only 6 (with 1 penalty point).
In the women’s 4x100m medley relay the Titan’s relay team (Kylie MASSE, Dominika SZTANDERA, Louise HANSSON and Kasia WASICK) came in first with a minimum jackpot of 20 points and beat the Standard’s team (Mary-Sophie HARVEY, Victoria GUNES, Anastasiya SHKURDAI and Sarah SJOSTROM) by almost a second.
In the men’s 4x100m medley relay, team Energy (Evgenii RYLOV, Ilya SHYMANOVICH, Adam BARRETT and Kliment KOLESNIKOV) was first with a 24-point jackpot, coming in 0.07 ahead of the Centurions (Thomas CECCON, Arno KAMMINGA, Matteo RIVOLTA and Vladislav GRINEV).
In the two relays, which determined the stroke of the skins on Day 2, Energy took 46 points, Aqua – 40, Toronto – 32 and DC – 30.
The position of the teams after the first day of the match:
ENS – 284
TOR – 222
AQC – 212
DCT – 186
The first swim of Day 2 already dispelled the illusions about the struggle for the 1st place: Energy had a double in the women’s 100m freestyle – Siobhan HAUGHEY took a jackpot of 15 points to which Sarah SJOSTROM added 7 for the 2nd place. HAUGHEY also won the 200m freestyle with a jackpot of 19 points and SJOSTROM took the 50m butterfly with a jackpot of 15 points, where Madeline BANIC added 6 for the Standard.
Kliment KOLESNIKOV brought another win to team Energy in the 100m individual medley with a jackpot of 15 points.
Then, Energy’s Ilya SHYMANOVICH achieved a World Record in the 100m breaststroke and took a jackpot of 15 points, while Felipe LIMA added 4 more. In the same swim, Arno KAMMINGA and Nicolo MARTNENGHI took the 2nd and 3rd places bringing the Centurions 13 points.
Besides, Energy won the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay (Evgenii RYLOV, Ilya SHYMANOVICH, Anastasiya SHKURDAI and Femke HEEMSKERK) with a 30-point jackpot.
The Titans came out with the victories in two women’s swims: Laura STEPHENS took the 200m butterfly with a minimum jackpot, to which Summer McINTOSH added 4 more for the 5th place. Then, Kylie MASSE and Lisa BRATTON had a double in the 100m backstroke where MASSE had a jackpot of 12 points.
The Centurions had three wins with a minimum jackpot: Maria KAMENEVA was 1st in the women’s 100m IM. Martina CARRARO won the women’s 100m breaststroke and Arianna COSTIGLIONI took the 3rd place and 6 points. Matteo RIVOLTA took the men’s 50m butterfly, beating Ben PROUD of Energy by 0.1 seconds. In the latter swim, the second swimmer from the Centurions did not score any points and Energy scored the same amount of points as Aqua – 10 overall.
In the last swim before the skins – the 400m IM, Ilya BORODIN took the 1st place and a 15-point jackpot (12 at the finish line + 3 for the 3rd place mid-distance). His teammate Chase KALISZ earned just 3 points while the Trident representatives took the 2nd and 3rd places: Max LITCHFIELD took 11 points (7 for the 2nd place + 4 for the 2nd place at the 200m) and Alberto RAZZETTI took 8 (6 + 2 for the 4th place mid-distance). In total, DC took 19 points here against 18 for Aqua.
The same distance for women was taken by the Trident Bailey ANDISON who earned 19 points (jackpot of 15 + 4 for the 2nd place at the 200m). Her teammate Zsuzsanna JAKABOS came in 5th with 7 points (4 + 3 for the 3rd place at the 200m).
Overall, in terms of victories, the Tridents did not lag behind the Standard. However, Aleksandr SHCHEGOLEV’s victory in the men’s 100m freestyle without a jackpot was not enough for DC: they received 11 points overall, while Aqua’s Alessandro MIRESSI and Vladislav GRINEV took 13 total points for the 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
SHCHEGOLEV also took the win with a minimum jackpot in the men’s 200m freestyle, where his club partner Velimir STJEPANOVICH added 5 points for the 4th place. The men’s 200m butterfly was taken by Zach HARTING of the Tridents without a jackpot and Camden MURPHY added 6 points for the 3rd place. Mark NIKOLAEV brought the Tridents a bright victory in the men’s 100m backstroke, taking a jackpot of 24 points.
In the relay swims, the Centurions and the Tridents gradually narrowed down the gap with the Titans.
After the women’s 50m butterfly, in which Toronto took no points and Holly BARRATT and Silvia di PIETRO brought Aqua 12 points for the 2nd and 4th places, the Centurions overtook the Tridents. Moreover, after the mixed 4x100m medley relay, in which Aqua took 22 points and Toronto took 10, the Centurions ended up 25 points ahead of the Titans.
In the last two medley swims, 106 points were distributed between the teams as follows: Toronto took 38, DC – 37, Aqua – 18 and Energy – 12 (with one penalty point).
Before the skin races the position of the clubs was as follows:
ENS – 493
AQC – 376
TOR – 371
DCT – 353
As it can be seen, the gap between the 2nd and 4th place was just 23 points, which meant that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th places were going to be distributed at the skin races, which were chosen to be freestyle both for women and men.
For women, Sarah SJOSTROM of Energy proved herself once again when she completed all three stages of the skins in less than 24 seconds, something that her opponents could not do. A representative from each team got to the semifinal of the skins. On stage 2, DC and Aqua swimmers got under the jackpot of the unstoppable Energy’s Sarah SJOSTROM. Toronto’s Kasia WASICK was another women’s skins finalist and finished over 0.5 seconds behind SJOSTROM in stage 3.
As a result, the Titans advanced ahead of the Centurions by 9 points.
In the men’s skins, both Energy representatives Ben PROUD and Kliment KOLESNIKOV reached the semifinals, while the Centurions only finished 6th and 7th on stage 1, which ended the intrigue of the 2nd place. However, the Tridents still had a chance to outrun Aqua and take the 3rd place if Aleksandr SHCHEGOLEV had scored 21 points on two distances; then, the Tridents would have equalized with the Centurions. However, SHCHEGOLEV was second to KOLESNIKOV both times – in the semifinals and finals – and took only 14 points. Thus, having scored 7 points in 2 games, Energy practically secured their place in the Final Four; while the Titans, having scored only 5 points, will have to strive for the 1st place in the match with the Condors. The Tridents and Centurions had 3 points each and lost even their theoretical chance to advance to the Finals.
ABOUT THE ISL: The International Swimming League is the first global professional swimming team-based competition. Founded in 2018, the league currently consists of 10 teams based in North America (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers and Toronto Titans), Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and the UK-based London Roar) and Asia (Tokyo Frog Kings).
ISL Season 3 will take place in three phases, with Naples, Italy, first playing host to the 10 ISL clubs in a five-week regular season from 26 August to 30 September. This will be followed by a Play-off phase of three weeks in November, which will bring together the top eight ISL Clubs to compete for a spot in the ISL Final. The ISL Grand Final is set to take place at the begining of December when the ISL Champions will be crowned.
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