2020 ISL Match #8 – Day 2 Live Recap

2020 INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE – MATCH 8

The Cali Condors hold just a 9-point advantage over London Roar after day 1 of this International Swimming League (ISL) match #8. Both squads are undefeated thus far in the ISL, meaning one will suffer its first loss once the action concludes in Budapest today.

Trying their best to prevent that from happening for their respective teams will be the dynamic breaststrokers of Adam Peaty (LON) and Lilly King (CAC), who will be pulling big-time duty with their specialty discipline being selected by the medley relay winners for today’s skins.

But, CAC’s Caeleb Dressel will be a force to be reckoned with in the skins, as well as other events, with the American seemingly in the pool for every race. Alia Atkinson of LON will also be a formidable challenge to King in the skins, so we’ll be on the edge of our seats when these rapid-fire races come to pass.

Team scores entering day 2:

  • CAC – 255
  • LON – 246
  • TOK – 210
  • NYB – 167

Recap: Retta Race, Analysis: Jared Anderson

LANES

  • 1 & 2 – Tokyo Frog Kings (TOK)
  • 3 & 4 – Cali Condors (CAC)
  • 5 & 6 – London Roar (LON)
  • 7 & 8 – NY Breakers (NYB)

START LISTS

DAY 2 EVENTS

WOMEN’S 100 FREE

Anderson has been such a key addition for London so far. This swim sets a huge tone for the Roar as they try to run down Cali for the team lead. Anderson came into the meet ranked #4 in the league in the 100 free. She didn’t better her 51.4 season-best here, but did win the race on an incredible back half.

Anderson split 25.4 going out and 26.4 coming back – that was the 6th-best opening split but the best closing split by more than half a second in this field.

London goes 1st-3rd here with Wattel coming through for a nice swim. Cali was just 4th-7th and will lose about eight points to the Roar here. London is now just a half-point behind Cali for the team lead.

Although placing just 5th, Tokyo’s Natsumi Sakai punched out a massive PB to get under 53 for the first time ever. In doing so she became Japan’s 3rd fastest performer all-time. Teammate Catie DeLoof remains the Frog Kings’ highest finisher in this event with a 2nd place 52.2 from match #3.

MEN’S 100 FREE

Cali wasted no time in striking back, though. Dressel nabs his second win of the season with a 46.12 that is better than his week 2 showing (46.4) but not as fast as his week 1 win (45.8). The big news, though, was Ress, who went 46.5 for second place in a huge 1-2 punch for the Condors.

London’s Vekovishchev has had some outstanding relay splits so far this week, and he wound up third here. Tokyo did not use Vladimir Morozov, likely resting him for an upcoming 100 IM showdown with Dressel. That left Tokyo pretty weak here, and they’ve fallen almost 50 points behind London with a top-two finish probably out of reach for the Frog Kings.

4th place finisher Pieter Timmers of NY Breakers is swimming one of the final races of his career, with the Olympic silver medalist calling time on his career, as we previously reported. Look for more on his last races after the meet.

WOMEN’S 200 FLY

Tokyo’s Suzuka Hasegawa entered the meet an undefeated rookie in this event, but Cali’s Hali Flickinger hadn’t lost a 200 fly race across two ISL seasons. That made this one of today’s must-watch matchups, and it did not disappoint.

Hasegawa jumped out early, and though she tightened up some late, her early aggressive strategy built a lead Flickinger couldn’t overcome. Flickinger made up about half a second on the third 50, but Hasegawa rebounded to outsplit Flickinger on the final 50 for the win.

Hasegawa is a true force in this event now, the ISL record-holder, a perfect 3-for-3 in her ISL career and now with a head-to-head win over the only other top 200 flyer in the league. Tokyo had a great event, with Hasegawa taking two jackpots and Shimizu coming in 4th.

On the flip side, London was stung hard here. The Roar end up 7th and 8th with both entrants getting jackpotted for zero total points. That’s going to allow Cali to build its team lead up to 17.5.

Flickinger hit a season-best for Cali in second. New York’s Chimrova also improved her season-best, moving up to #4 in the league so far this year. In fact, this loaded field featured the entire top five in league ranks this year.

MEN’S 200 FLY

Wang has been a high-impact pickup for the Condor men. This is his second time under 1:51 this season, and Wang hasn’t been slower than 1:51.3 in his three ISL 200 flys. The world junior record-holder won here by a tenth over Tokyo’s Honda. Those two sit #4 and #5 in league ranks for the year.

In a disappointment for London, the #3-ranked swimmer, Vini Lanza, fell behind those two. Lanza was seven-tenths off his season-best. Though he led early, he lost ground in the final 100 as London has continued to miss opportunities for momentum after Anderson’s big 100 free win.

However, Cali did take 8th, with Bentz getting jackpotted by his own teammate. So London will actually match Cali with 10 points in this event. Tokyo were the real winners, scoring 12.

WOMEN’S 100 BACK

Both Toussaint and Smoliga were unbeaten for 2020 coming into this meet. But for the second time this week, Toussaint will end Smoliga’s unbeaten run.

Toussaint won the 50 back on day 1 and bested Smoliga here by four tenths of a second. Toussaint came within .06 of Smoliga’s ISL-leading time from a relay leadoff. That’s a big break for London, as Toussaint took two jackpots.

And London’s other entrant, Kameneva, just avoided the jackpot line. That’ll cut the Cali lead to 13.5 with another great London event coming up next.

Tokyo’s Rio Shirai finished just outside of the top 5 in the league this year, going 56.43 for third. Cali did not use #4-ranked Beata Nelson here, perhaps resting her up for the 100 IM or for a relay down the road today.

TEAM SCORES UPDATE:

1. CAC 309.0
2. LON 295.5
3. TOK 260.0
4. NYB 199.5

MEN’S 100 BACK

London has dominated backstroke for much of this year, but their dominant duo of Guido and Diener has been off their marks so far this week.

Today, it was Tokyo’s Irie who bested the field, cutting a tenth off his season-best and moving to #4 in the league for the year. Irie has had a tough schedule, swimming a loaded LA roster in each of his first two matches, but he’s rewarded with a win against yet another tough field today.

Cali’s 50 back winner Coleman Stewart continued his strong meet, breaking 50 for the first time this year in 49.89. He’ll sit just outside the top five in the league for the season.

Guido fell to 3rd and Diener to 5th. London now trails Cali by 15.5 in the race for the lead, and Tokyo made up three points to climb to within 31.5 of London for second.

WOMEN’S 100 IM

Cali’s strategic gamble paid off. Before the season, we had projected Nelson as a potentially elite 100 IMer, but when the lineup changed to put the 100 IM back-to-back with the 100 backstroke, it looked like the schedule might not break right for Nelson. Today, the Condors took Nelson out of the 100 back to swim this IM, and she picked up her first-ever 100 IM win in 58.37.

That’s just outside of the top 5 in the league for the season. The ISL record is 57.7 from Sarah Sjostrom in the opener.

Tokyo didn’t swim Runa Imai here – Imai sits #2 in the league for the season and won both of Tokyo’s first two matches this year. But she swam relays only yesterday and is only entered in relays today. Tokyo was still 3rd and 5th, but it feels like a missed opportunity here for the Frog Kings.

New York also had a disappointing run. Abbie Wood is ranked 5th in the league for the season, but she fell to 6th in this race, six tenths off a season-best.

Cali is up 24.5 on London for first. Tokyo sits 29.5 back of London for second.

MEN’S 100 IM

Fans hoped for a showdown here between the unbeaten Dressel and world record-holder Morozov, but Morozov has continued to look a little off this season. Dressel improved his own ISL record, going 51.11 for the win.

That’s the second time this year that Andrew has come in second to Dressel in this event, and Andrew has also been second to Florent Manaudou. The New York Breaker captain has been getting steadily better as the year has gone on, and he’ll get a bye week to rest up before competing in the post-season, as New York should be locked into a semifinal in 8th place unless something crazy happens with the DC Trident in week 5.

London was 7th and 8th here, with Lanza getting jackpotted. Things have just snowballed for the Roar so far today, and they’ll need to regroup over the session break to avoid losing any more points to the Frog Kings.
Tokyo is now 22.5 points behind London, much closer than London’s margin behind Cali, which stands at 37.5.

TEAM SCORES UPDATE

  1. CAC – 352.0
  2. LON – 314.5
  3. TOK – 292.0
  4. NYB – 216.5

WOMEN’S 200 FREE

Anderson has been carrying this London team, and the Roar will get a second chance to build one of her wins into lasting momentum here. That’s a British record 1:52.6 for Anderson, who moves up to #2 in the entire ISL with that swim. Anderson was just 1:54.6 in her ISL debut last week, so even with how good she was in week 3, she appears to be getting better this week.

Cali took second and third. Allison Schmitt has been outstanding this season, and she improves her season-best by two tenths here and remains #4 in the league for the season. That was also a breakthrough swim for Erika Brown, a college standout across the 50/100/200-yard distances.

London makes up one point on Cali, though, and now trail by 36.5.

MEN’S 200 FREE

Townley Haas had only swam one 200 free in the ISL so far this year, but it was a big win in week 2. He’ll stay undefeated for the year while moving up to #2 in the league for the season. Haas improved his season-best by about a full second, putting together easily his best meet of the season so far.

We’ve noted plenty often that Cali’s men have struggled beyond Dressel. But they’ve stepped up in a big way so far this week, especially in today’s session. Majchrzak joined Haas for a 1-2 punch, and Cali is running away with the team points win this week, assuming nothing disastrous happens in the skins.

This race featured three of the top five in ISL ranks coming into the meet – everyone but league leader Danas Rapsys, who swam earlier today, and #4 Fernando Scheffer, who is on bye. #2-ranked Matsumoto fell to fourth here, well off his best, and #3 Duncan Scott was just third in this race, four tenths off his season-best.

WOMEN’S 50 FLY

The Breakers have had some tough sledding in brutal groupings this year. Surkova’s win is a much-needed bright spot for the Breakers here – she remains #5 in league ranks for the season.

Tokyo’s Soma was second, but the Frog Kings also wound up 8th with Hasegawa missing the cutoff time. She might still be a bit fatigued from that big 200 fly win earlier in the session. She was jackpotted out of a point here and will also take a one-point penalty. Tokyo will need a miracle of sorts in the skins to have any shot at London for second place this week – they trail by 36.5 with eight events remaining.

MEN’S 50 FLY

Dressel has taken on such a heavy event load every week that by the time that the late-meet 50 fly has pretty much always featured an exhausted Dressel with one eye on an event win and the other on preparing for the upcoming skins. He improved his season-best by .05 here, but remains just #5 in the league. One intriguing storyline for the postseason will be whether Dressel has anything left in his back pocket in this race if a tight team points race necessitates it.

League leader Szebaztian Szabo is probably out of the postseason, which would make Dressel’s path a little easier.
New York’s Litchfield has been solid this season, and he moves close to the top five in league ranks with a second-place showing here.

London’s two entrants tied for 5th as they’ll continue to struggle to keep pace with Cali in overall points. The Condors are now up by 52.5 for the team lead.

WOMEN’S 100 BREAST

Lilly King‘s unbeaten streak has taken some serious challenges this week. After she narrowly beat teammate Hannis for the 50 breast win. King survived an onslaught by London’s Atkinson in the 100. Atkinson outsplit King by a tenth in the second 50, very nearly overtaking the Cali Condor for the win.

King was 1:03.39, two tenths off of her league-leading time and three tenths off her own ISL record from last year. Atkinson was 1:03.53, taking two tenths off her season-best and leapfrogging Energy Standard’s Benedetta Pilato for the #2 time in the league this season.

Hannis was third for Cali. That Condor duo will immediately move to recovery mode, trying to repeat a 1-2 finish from week 1 in the 50 breast skins later today.

London’s Lazor was fourth as the Condors and Roar combined to sweep the top four spots here.

MEN’S 100 BREAST

Tokyo’s Koseki won a thriller here, out-swimming the speedster Peaty in the first 50 and then closing three tenths faster than Peaty in the back half.

Koseki was a tenth off his season-best, which sits 3rd in the league this year. After a big 50 breast, Peaty falls here, missing his season-best by four tenths. That has to be a bad sign for London’s hopes in the 50 breast skins later today – their ability to win this meet relies almost entirely on Peaty’s ability to win the skins and take some massive jackpots on the way there.

Now, Koseki looks like a threat in the skins, coming up in just a few events.

Cali struggled here, taking 5th and 7th. They lost points to all three teams here, but still lead by a really wide margin and aren’t in too much danger of losing this meet, barring a skins miracle. They lead London by 46.5.

TEAM SCORES UPDATE

  1. CAC – 426.0
  2. ROR – 379.5
  3. TOK – 337.0
  4. NYB – 253.5

MIXED 4×100 FREESTYLE RELAY

The headline here has to be a 50.9 anchor leg from Freya Anderson, who has been an MVP-level swimmer for London in two meets this year. London improves its season-best and moves to #2 in the league ranks, behind only Energy Standard which hasn’t lost this relay yet in 2020. London also got a 51.5 from Anna Hopkin and a 46.8 from Mikhail Vekovishchev.

Cali also improved its season-best and now sits #3 in the league this year. That’s a really impressive stat, considering the Condors did not use star sprinter Caeleb Dressel on this relay. He’s likely resting up for the 50 breast skin race later today. Justin Ress led off in 46.4 and Cali also got a 51.5 from fast-rising rookie Erika Brown on the anchor.

New York was led by a 51.9 anchor from Kasia Wasick.

With four events left, Cali leads London by 44.5. Tokyo is 52.5 behind London for second place, with New York 83.5 behind Tokyo for third.

TEAM STANDINGS:

  1. CAC – 448.0
  2. LON – 403.5
  3. TOK – 351.0
  4. NYB – 267.5

WOMEN’S 400 IM

This one was supposed to pit unbeaten Melanie Margalis against unbeaten Yui Ohashi. But for the second-straight meet, Cali pulled Margalis from the 400 IM late with the meet mostly in hand. That’s too bad for swimming fans, because Ohashi didn’t just win, she came within .05 of Margalis’s league-leading time from week 1.

Ohashi is now 3-for-3 in her ISL career, and closing in on Margalis’s ISL record of 4:24.15 from last year.

New York’s Abbie Wood had a nice swim, cutting exactly one second from her best and moving up to #3 in the league this year behind Margalis and Ohashi. London’s Pickrem also cracked the top five, moving up to #4.

MEN’S 400 IM

Tokyo remains a perfect 6-for-6 in the 400 IM across the team’s first ISL season. Hagino has won all three men’s races, and he improved his league-leading time by a tenth here in 4:01.41. No one else has been under 4:03.5 as Hagino is returning to form and running away with the league lead in his rookie year.

New York’s duo of Almeida and Smith have been very solid. Almeida improves his season-best by over a second and moves up to #3 in the league for the season.

One swimmer each from London and Cali were jackpotted by Hagino, but the point spread is awfully big by now, and that swing probably won’t matter overall. London is 39.5 behind Cali for first and Tokyo 32.5 behind London for second, so it would take almost a total jackpot in the skins for any of those teams to move by the other.

WOMEN’S 50 BREAST SKINS

ROUND 1: King (CAC), Atkinson (LON), Aoki (TOK), Lazor (LON) move on

King took care of business with a solid win here, but it wasn’t a great showing for Cali. King was just 29.7 – she was 29.1 in the opening round of skins in Cali’s first meet. And Hannis, who was second to King in the skin week 1 and who almost beat King in the 50 breast yesterday, missed the cut and is out.
London got two into the second round, including world record-holder Alia Atkinson.
Tokyo’s Reona Aoki also made her second skins semifinal.

ROUND 2: Lilly King (CAC) & Alia Atkinson (LON) move on

As expected, it’ll be King and Atkinson to the final. Each was undefeated in their ISL careers in the 50 breast coming into this meet. King has won all three 50 breaststrokes between the two this match. So far, though, King’s times have been a bit off and she hasn’t pulled the kind of jackpots she could potentially pull. But with both King and Atkinson among the best to ever swim a 50 breast, both are probably making sure they have something in the tank for the final.

ROUND 3: Lilly King (CAC) wins the skins

In hindsight, both athletes were definitely saving their best stuff for the final. King went seven-tenths faster in this final than she did in either of the opening rounds, and Atkinson was four-tenths faster with her first sub-30 swim of the skins.

This was definitely a strategic showdown between the two, with both taking advantage of a thin field to save up for a huge finals showdown.

In fact, King was faster here than she was in winning the individual 50 breast yesterday (29.20).

TEAM STANDINGS

  1. CAC – 493.0
  2. LON – 448.5
  3. TOK – 395.0
  4. NYB – 292.5

MEN’S 50 BREAST SKINS

ROUND 1: Peaty (LON), Koseki (JPN), Dressel (CAC) & Prigoda (LON) move on

In contrast to the women’s field, this men’s field is deep, and without one clear frontrunner. We saw the top four separated by just .06 seconds here, and Andrew missed the second round by just .04. While the women were able to save up for the final, the men had no such luxury, and that might benefit the more 100/200-based swimmers in the mix.

Peaty’s 26.05 was just a tenth off his season-best from his win in the 50 breast yesterday. Koseki moves on after besting Peaty in the 100 earlier today. Dressel tends to get better as the rounds go on, and London got two into the next round with Prigoda also moving on.

ROUND 2: Peaty (LON) & Koseki (TOK) move on

It was another brutally close one: Tokyo’s Koseki hit a season-best in the opening round, and he touched out Dressel by .01 here to move on to the final. Peaty won handily in 26.31, and will move on to the final.

ROUND 3: Peaty (LON) takes the skins win

Peaty came through for London, besting Koseki by just two tenths in the final. That final surge from Peaty brought London to within 15.5 points of Cali overall, but the Roar weren’t able to overtake the Condors.

London also narrowly escaped with the skins win after picking the stroke, and we’ve now seen only one team pick the skins stroke and then not win that skins race: that was Energy Standard, which picked men’s breaststroke earlier today and lost to Iron’s Emre Sakci. The other 15 skin races have all gone to the team that picked the strokes.

FINAL TEAM SCORES

 

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Oldbay
22 days ago

Does anyone have a link?

Bub
Reply to  Oldbay
22 days ago
Uncle
Reply to  Bub
22 days ago

Does your link constantly cut out?

Mak
Reply to  Uncle
22 days ago

Yeah it glitches every 5 seconds and then crashes. Says there’s some error occurring.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Mak
22 days ago

Mine glitches bad on the laptop, but when I switched to my phone it was fine.

Khachaturian
Reply to  Oldbay
22 days ago

bookmark the damn thing already why are people still asking this 2-3 weeks into the season!?

tea rex
Reply to  Oldbay
22 days ago

Is cbs glitching out for anyone else???

tea rex
Reply to  tea rex
22 days ago

Perhaps someone can give some snacks to the hamster that is apparently powering this livestream?

Rafael
Reply to  tea rex
22 days ago

Is probably the same that is counting nevada ballots..

Dee
22 days ago

Anderson seems such a smart swimmer in the ISL format – Watches the others and just does enough.

Tyson
Reply to  Dee
22 days ago

But why not try to go for jackpot points if you can to get some more for your team?

Daaaave
22 days ago

Wang with a bold finish!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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