2021 INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING LEAGUE – SEASON 3, MATCH 18 – LEAGUE FINAL
- Friday, December 3rd – Saturday, December 4th
- 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm local time; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
- Pieter van den Hoogenband Zwemstadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands
- Short Course Meters (25m – SCM) Format
- ISL Season 3 Schedules, Start Times, & More
- Live Results
- Teams Competing: Energy Standard, Cali Condors, London Roar, LA Current
The 2021 ISL League Final is here! Energy Standard, the Cali Condors, London Roar, and LA Current will battle for the third consecutive season for the league title. This is our “fly by” preview. For a much more in-depth look at the 2021 League Final, check out the “Deep Dive” preview. If short and sweet is more your speed, you’re in the right place.
THE JACKPOT FACTOR
While these are not the only three swimmers competing in the 2021 League Final with the potential to jackpot half or more of the other swimmers in their given events, the fact that they’re all on the same team gives Energy Standard a major boost.
Of course, Caeleb Dressel of the Cali Condors, Duncan Scott of the London Roar, and Ingrid Wilm and Ryan Murphy of the LA Current could all jackpot half or more of their competitors in one or more races, but none of these clubs have as many jackpot-capable swimmers as Energy Standard does.
Caeleb Dressel (Cali), Tom Shields (LA), and Chad le Clos (Energy) represent the top-3 male sprint butterfliers competing this weekend, though Dressel and Shields have overshadowed le Clos this season.
The London Roar is strong in the 50 fly thanks to Kyle Chalmers and Dylan Carter, as well as the 100 and 200 thanks to Vini Lanza and Teppei Morimoto, though Chalmers can also swim a competitive 100 fly, or fill the fly spot on a medley relay, if needed. Meanwhile, Shields and le Clos are the top-2 200 flyers in ISL history, with Cali’s Eddie Wang not far behind. Were it not for Wang, Cali might not have a chance in the men’s 200 fly.
On the women’s side, Cali brings in ISL Record holder Kelsi Dahlia, Energy Standard has Sarah Sjostrom, while London has Emma McKeon. Any one of these three could take the 100 fly, though Sjostrom has to have the edge in the 50 fly, while Dahlia is the only one we’d expect to see in the 200 fly, though Cali will likely save her for the relays and use Hali Flickinger instead.
The LA Current brings in breakout star Ingrid Wilm who has proven she can upset the “favorite” in almost any backstroke race.
Minna Atherton and Kira Toussaint are a potent duo for the London Roar, though Atherton is not on her season 1 form. The Cali Condors have Beata Nelson and Olivia Smoliga, the former of which has been extremely reliable both of the past two seasons.
Other male breaststroke specialists worth mentioning are Nic Fink of Cali and Christopher Rothbauer of LA are the only other male breaststroke specialists worth mentioning, and even they face a major jackpot threat from Shymanovich.
London answers back with Alia Atkinson and Annie Lazor, while LA brings in Imogen Clark and Anastasia Gorbenko. Finally, Energy Standard has its own great duo in Evgenia Chikunova and Benedetta Pilato, though Pilato is yet to find her form this season.
Pilato has not raced for Energy Standard yet in the playoffs, but indicates on Instagram that she’ll be in action for the final.
The London Roar covers all the bases in men’s freestyle—Kyle Chalmers, Dylan Carter, Duncan Scott, and Tom Dean—just as Energy Standard does in women’s freestyle—Sarah Sjostrom, Siobhan Haughey, Femke Heemskerk.
The LA Current is also quite strong in women’s freestyle, thanks mostly to Abbey Weitzeil and Madison Wilson, as is the Cali Condors, thanks to Natalie Hinds, Olivia Smoliga, Hali Flickinger, and Erika Brown, granted, Flickinger, Smoliga, and Brown specialize in other disciplines as well.
It is somewhat surprising that the Cali Condors are relatively weak in men’s freestyle, despite having Caeleb Dressel and Justin Ress—this is because the Condors have not been strong in middle-distance this season and need some big swims from Townley Haas if they are to get any significant points on the board this weekend.
The LA Current has been much better in middle-distance freestyle on the men’s side, thanks to Fernando Scheffer and Martin Malyutin, than in the men’s sprints lately, though Maxime Rooney and Brett Pinfold could get points on the board in the 50 and 100.
The top two men’s IMers competing this weekend, Dressel and Scott, also specialize in other events, though we might expect Dressel to win the 100 IM and Scott the 400 IM.
Scott should also be the favorite in the 200 IM, though if Dressel swims it (unlikely, but not totally out of the question), he’s got a chance.
Women’s IM will be an interesting tug-of-war between the London Roar, Energy Standard, and the Cali Condors.
The Cali Condors cover all the bases with Beata Nelson in the 100 and 200 IMs, and Hali Flickinger in the 200 and 400 IMs. The battle between Flickinger and Pickrem in the 400 IM should be one of the best races to watch this weekend.
The LA Current women need some big performance in the women’s IMs to get significant points on the board—if Anastasia Gorbenko and Abbey Weitzeil are on form, they should at least pick up decent points in the 100 IM.
Energy Standard should be in the running to challenge for the victory in all five relays, though the men’s and mixed 4×100 medley are the only two in which they’re the fastest club in the ISL this season.
The London men have proven they’re the team to beat in the 4×100 free, and the Roar are also the fastest team this season in the women’s 4×100 medley. The Condors are typically very strong in the women’s medley as well, with a formidable middle duo of Lilly King and Kelsi Dahlia.
In the women’s 4×100 free, Energy has Sarah Sjostrom and Siobhan Haughey to lead the charge, though the LA Current executed perfectly in the fourth playoff match and established the top time of the season (3:27.44).
Projected Team Standings
- Energy Standard
- Cali Condors
- London Roar
- LA Current
Overall, Energy Standard appears the team to beat in the Season 3 final. Between their massive jackpot potentials and their abilities to put together strong relays, it is difficult to give any other team the edge in the overall team standings.