6 Key Points to Watch For in ISL Match 6

2020 International Swimming League – Match 6

League Standings After Match 5

Rank Club Club Code Matches Played Match 1 Match 2 Match 3 Match 4 Match 5 Standings Points
1 LA Current LAC 3 2 4 3 9
=2 London Roar LON 2 4 4 8
=2 Cali Condors CAC 2 4 4 8
4 Iron IRO 2 3 3 6
5 Tokyo Frog Kings TOK 2 3 2 5
6 DC Trident DCT 3 2 1 1 4
=7 Energy Standard ENS 1 3 3
=7 NY Breakers NYB 2 1 2 3
=9 Aqua Centurions AQC 2 1 1 2
=9 Toronto Titans TOR 1 2 2

1. Breakers Building Momentum

After placing last by 154 points in match 1, the New York Breakers made a comeback in match 4 by claiming 3rd place. Here are some reasons why:

Marco Koch had the largest jackpot swim in ISL history, scoring 30 points for the Breakers with his 200 breast win. However in match 6, Koch will also have to answer to Ilya Shymanovich (ENS) who won the 100 breast in match 1.

These points for the Breakers will be vital as Aqua Centurions Fabio Scozzoli and Nicolo Martinenghi and Toronto Titan Anton McKee look to control the 50 breaststroke in match 6.

Joe Litchfield (NYB) made it to the final round of the 50 back skins race with Ryan Murphy (LAC) in match 1. But, Murphy’s win by over 2 seconds jackpotted all of Litchfield’s points. Litchfield followed this up in match 4 with solid second-place finishes in the 100 fly and 50 back, scoring 7 points in each race. Without Murphy or Caeleb Dressel (CAC) he has a good chance of scoring points.

Emily Escobedo (NYB) was the closest finisher to Lilly King (CAC) in the 200 breast during matches 1 and 4. Without King in match 6, Escobedo is within reach of a vital point-scoring win.

In match 4, Abbie Wood (NYB) dropped .3 seconds from her 100IM swim in match 1, snagging 2nd behind Melanie Margalis. On the same day, Wood scored major points by winning the 400IM in about the same time she swam in match 1.

Kasia Wasick (NYB) swam the fastest 50 free so far in the ISL this season (23.43), topping even Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the world record-holder. 

2. Sprint Free: Wasick vs. Sjostrom

Wasick has the chance to face-off with Energy Standard’s Sarah Sjostrom who swam the second-fastest 50 this season, a 23.48. Without the Aqua Centurion’s Federica Pelligrini, who won’t arrive to the ISL bubble until their season finale, this could be an extremely tight race.

Sjostrom also won the 100 free in match 1 in a time of 51.17. Wasick could have a close race with her in this as well, but her 2nd place finish to Kromowidjojo was 1 second slower than Sjostrom.

3. Redemption For Energy Standard?

Energy Standard, the defending ISL champion team, was upset by the Cali Condors in match 1.  While this was partially due to the Condors’ major jackpot point stealing wins, some top ENS swimmers raced slower than expected.

Chad le Clos (ENS), who won gold in the 100 fly at the 2018 Short Course World Championships, unexpectedly placed 4th behind Maxime Rooney (LAC) in the 100 fly.

The ENS men’s backstroke stars Kliment Kolesnikov and Evgeny Rylov were predicted to score points for the team. However, Rylov placed 3rd in the 100 and 200 back while Kolesnikov took 7th place in the 200 back. 

4. The Learning Curve

That being said, we have seen nearly every ISL team improve from their first to second match as coaches learned who was on form and who was not. 

After months of being unable to race due to the coronaviru pandemic, some swimmers also mentioned pre-race nerves during their first match. This could be another explanation as to why swimmers, like Wasick and Wood, are swimming faster in their second match.

Energy Standard and the Toronto Titans have only competed in one match so far. After shaking off the racing rust in match 1, can we expect to see the same level of improvement from these two teams?

5. Energy Standard vs. Toronto Titans: Women’s Back and Fly

Emily Seebohm (ENS) won the 200 back in match 1 in 2:02.70. However she will have to swim even faster in order to beat Titans Lisa Bratton and Kylie Masse who placed 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the 200 back at match 3. Bratton touched the wall in 2:01.74 with Masse .93 seconds behind.

Sjostrom (ENS) and Louise Hansson (TOR) will go neck-and-neck in the sprint butterfly events. Sjostrom won the 100 with a time of 56.00 while Hansson won the same event in match 3 at 56.45. Their 50 fly times so far this season aren’t far apart either. In match 1, Sjostrom placed 2nd in the 50 fly at 25.25, while Hansson claimed 3rd in match 3 with a time of 25.64.

6. Skins Contenders, What Stroke Will They Pick?

As we’ve seen in previous matches, the skins races can be game-changing jackpot swims (case in point Lilly King scoring 50 points and Ryan Murphy scoring 58). This emphasizes the importance of the 400 medley relays because the winning team chooses the stroke of the skins race on day 2. Here is a list of the fastest 400 medley relay times swam by each ISL team this season, with the match 6 teams in bold: 


1 London Roar 3:47.85
2 Cali Condors 3:47.92
3 Energy Standard 3:48.81
4 LA Current 3:50.05
5 Tokyo Frog Kings:  3:50.41
6 Toronto Titans 3:50.57
7 DC Trident 3:51.26
8 NY Breakers 3:51.89
9 Iron 3:53.66
10 Aqua Centurions 3:55.22

The Energy Standard women seem to be the favorite by far with the Toronto Titans finishing nearly 2 seconds slower. This could be a jackpot swim for ENS, who would have a variety of options for the skins stroke. Without King in the mix this time, they will most likely rely on 15-year-old phenom Benedetta Pilato to dominate a 50 breast skins race. Fly, despite having Sjostrom, may not be as safe of a choice with Hansson (TOR), and neither is back due to Massie (TOR) and Bratton (TOR.) 


1 LA Current 3:20.95
2 London Roar 3:21.59
3 Tokyo Frog Kings 3:22.62
4 Aqua Centurions 3:22.96
5 Energy Standard 3:23.33
6 Iron 3:24.81
7 Toronto Titans 3:25.40
8 DC Trident 3:25.70
9 Cali Condors 3:26.06
10 NY Breakers 3:26.17

The men’s 400 medley relay could be a tight race between the Aqua Centurions and Energy Standard. If the Centurions touch first, they will most likely pick breast with Scozzoli. Energy Standard could pick free or fly, betting on Florent Manaudou who won the 50 free in match 1 and snagged 2nd in the 50 fly behind Dressel. Backstroke is also an outside option for them if Rylov swims faster at this meet, but it may be too risky for him to race Shane Ryan (TOR.)

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Bill G
2 months ago

I think race time will be 11 AM Eastern Time on Sunday due to the “fall back” clock adjustment to return to Eastern Standard time overnight on October 31-November 1. Budapest and Eastern Time are 5 hours different today; will be 6 hours different tomorrow.

Reply to  Bill G
2 months ago

But the Budapest time for tomorrow will be 6PM-8M and for monday 4PM-6PM according to the schedule EnergyStandard put on their instagram at the start of the ISL. And that schedule has been right so far, including last weekend when there was the “fall back” clock adjustment in Europe 🙂

2 months ago

“If the Centurions touch first, they will most likely pick breast with Scozzoli.”

I would really expect the Centurions to pick fly. In breast, Shymanovich is 2nd in the league (25.64), Michael Andrew is 3rd (26.02), and Martinenghi and Scozzoli are just 6th (26.06) and 7th (26.10).

But in fly, Szebasztian Szabo is 1st (21.96) and *very* far ahead of the next fastest guy in any of these teams… which would be Joe Litchfield (22.70), Andriy Govorov (22.71), and Florent Manaudou (22.73), respectively.

Reply to  Barry
2 months ago

I hadn’t noticed your comment and said much the same. Breast wouldn’t be a smart choice.

2 months ago

Just read Sarah Sjorstrom will not be competing in the next match due to some back issues. Its also on her instagram. That changes things a bit. I still think Energry Standard will win but makes things a little bit more interesting.