Chad Le Clos training in Antalya, Turkey. Photo by Mine Kasapoglu

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While the majority of clubs in the International Swimming League (ISL) will bring their athletes together for the first time over the next few weeks as the matches get underway, that is not the case for Energy Standard.

Launched in 2014, the club boasts some of the biggest names in swimming who train together at the Gloria Sports Arena in Turkey, and the club has kept much of that nucleus together when forming their ISL roster.

Four-time Olympic medalist and male club captain Chad Le Clos has seen the benefit of working with such high quality swimmers since joining from his native South Africa.

“It’s a big change for me personally. In South Africa we’ve had many great champions, but usually, with respect, our depth is not as amazing as it is in other countries,” said the current world record holder in the men’s short course 100 meter butterfly.

“So for me to come here and just being in the pool with Olympic champions, World Champions, world record holders, I mean…you have a bad day and you kind of get lost in training.”

Le Clos believes the camaraderie that has developed in the group will lead them to success in the pool.

“I think the energy amongst our team and the chemistry we have is second to none,” he said. “I’m very, very proud to be leading this team as captain, and also just to be apart of this amazing group of athletes. We’re all great friends and we all hang out on the weekends. Having so many great champions in the pool at once really elevates your game to a new level.”

Ukrainian distance swimmer Mykhailo Romanchuk has been with Energy Standard for the last three years.

“I am so excited to be a member of Energy Standard,” said the 2018 Short Course World Champion in the 1500 freestyle. “I love this place. This is the best place to create myself to be better.”

“I think (the club) is (where) the most popular, strongest athletes in the world are based. So I am so happy to be apart of this big team and it’s amazing.”

Le Clos, Romanchuk, and female club captain Sarah Sjöström are all very excited for the next era in the sport to commence.

“I think the ISL is going to spice up the swimming world,” said Le Clos. “Not just this year, but for years to come. It’s going to give guys longevity, and it’s going to make the sport more exciting.

“Full program. Shows in between every three or four races. Everyone racing for points. Very fast, high energy. Everything done in an hour and 25 minutes. No long, long races. I think it’s going to be great for the spectators,” he said.

“I’m so excited to be apart of this historical moment in swimming,” added Romanchuk. “I think it will be a really amazing show.”

“Everyone in the swimming world is looking forward to this competition now, of course. It’s great that we can finally get started,” said Sjöström, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the women’s 100 butterfly.

“I’ve been waiting for a big change in the sport that we will finally become professional swimmers. It’s really exciting to be apart of this new concept.”

And while all three recognized the strength of the other clubs, they’re quite confident they can go all the way.

“As a captain, the minimum is we have to win,” said Le Clos in jest. “All jokes aside, it’s going to be hard to make the final. But I think once we get in that final, we’ve got a lot of depth, a lot of guys that can swim many events. Even for me personally, a lot of people will see me swimming (events) that I’m not usually swimming.”

“Hopefully I can get a couple of points for the team and raise that trophy. So we’ll see.”

Sjöström shares Le Clos’ sentiments that the club is well-rounded.

“I think Energy Standard has a really good team with a lot of swimmers who can swim a lot of different events, so I think we are a really, really strong team,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to coming to Las Vegas. First of all we’re going to have to swim very fast in the other three stops in Indiana, Naples and London, but I’m looking forward to Las Vegas already. Hopefully we’ll be there.”

Romanchuk, for his part, is more direct about his focus on the big prize. “I will do everything to take my team to the final, and to win.”

About the ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport.

Key Dates:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

ISL SOCIAL: Keep up with all the latest ISL news by following @iswimleague on Instagram and and Twitter @internationalswimmingleague on Facebook. Visit https://isl.global

Media Contact: James Mulligan (james.mulligan@isl.global)