Australia Out, Budapest In As 2020 ISL Hosting Frontrunner

Athletes in the International Swimming League (ISL) have been informed that the league’s training camp will likely be in Budapest, Hungary, not in Australia as previously rumored.

Original plans for a 6-month, 27-meet season were compressed down to a 5-week training camp, a decision made this spring as the worldwide coronavirus pandemic shut down most competitive sports for several months. In the early stages, ISL founder Konstantin Grigorishin said that Australia was the frontrunner to host the camp.

But Australia’s current COVID-19 numbers are spiking. The Straits Times reported that Monday saw a record single-day rise in COVID-19 deaths. And Reuters reports that today (Wednesday) was the “deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic,” with 21 deaths in Victoria alone.

The ISL is now planning to stage its training camp in Budapest, Hungary this fall. (The original dates were roughly set from October 14 to November 17, though that was in the original Australia plan). Athletes have been told that the ISL finale will be held either in Budapest or in Tokyo, Japan in late December. Athletes will have the option to remain in camp in Budapest between the regular season and the final, if they wish.

The original Australia plan had required athletes to quarantine before the camp to prevent the spread of the novel 2019 coronavirus. But athletes are being told no such quarantine is expected to be in place in Budapest.

According to the World Health Organization, Hungary has about 4,731 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 605 deaths. That comes to about 489 cases and 62 deaths per million of population. Australia has about twice as many confirmed cases per million of population (851), but also fewer deaths (12) per million.

In the last seven days, Hungary has reported 187 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a population of about 9.7 million. Australia, meanwhile, has registered 2,984 new confirmed cases in the last seven days across a population of 24.9 million. That means in the past week, Australia has had about six times as many new COVID cases, relative to population, than Hungary has had.

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Swim Fan
2 years ago

I understand that there is a complete travel ban on all Australians for overseas travel
Special exemptions are required from Homeland security to travel & are very rareky granted.
Considering Australian competitors were internally banned from travel to 2020 Olympics prior to official postponement how likely is it that they would be granted special approval to travel overseas unless current restrictions are lifted prior to the event.

Tokyo
2 years ago

When are team lists out?

Admin
Reply to  Tokyo
2 years ago

No idea. We know that the rosters are essentially set. I think the league is worried about the optics of what’s going to happen if athletes pull out after the location/any quarantine procedures are set. They don’t want to look bad.

That’s as compared to a league like the NBA that recognizes that people pulling out of the bubble is big news and is part of feeding the addiction to the league. The ISL seems to have instead decided to go completely silent until they can deliver information that won’t change at all.

Two different approached to publicity, I guess.

CoachD
2 years ago

All swimmers have missed enough training. If any travel requires any quarantine, they really cannot afford to do it. Think about it. Travel, no swimming for 10 days, train for 5 weeks, travel, no swimming for 10 days (every country rules different). The camp is an awesome idea, but until things get better, its best to stay where you can train without interruption. We (Everyone) have ground to make up, but our swimmers can do it, but we have to keep training and health our priority. Hopefully things improve and we can move towards normal as soon as possible. When is a question no one can answer.

Admin
Reply to  CoachD
2 years ago

The original plans in Australia would have allowed them to train during quarantine, but nothing else. In their rooms alone, security-enforced, etc.

Troyy
2 years ago

Australia’s new case numbers are declining not spiking.

torchbearer
Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

And over much of Australia- WA,SA,NT,TAS and QLD it has been zero or close to zero for months….fingers crossed.

Verram
Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

The problem also is that Queensland has the toughest border closure rules but I guess the actions and events in Victoria sully Australia’s reputation and numbers in terms of Covid response

Troyy
Reply to  Verram
2 years ago

Exactly. The reason for the pivot to Hungary likely has more to do with the border regulations and quarantine than the outbreak in Victoria. Hungary is much closer to a larger outbreak in Romania than Queensland is to Victoria.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

It was never a going thing . It is very difficult to get a visa to Australia & flights are restricted to what hotels can quarantine

Verram
Reply to  Troyy
2 years ago

All the numbers and statistics and numbers crunching they quoted above in this article are primarily Victorian figures especially with regards to death toll… coupled with Anastasia Palasczuk’s tough border policies

MissM
Reply to  Verram
2 years ago

Yes, but the danger of saying 21 deaths in Victoria alone make it out like there are significant other cases elsewhere. Whereas there were 0 COVID-19 deaths elsewhere in Australia on 12th August!

Yep, ISL not happening in Australia, but it would be a much clearer article if they actually realised how few cases there are Australia wide. Victoria and NSW are not great, but the rest of the country is almost COVID-19 free.

ab88
2 years ago

still a few months away.. mmmh

i predict: schools reopening + autumn arriving = more indoor activities —-> increase of number of cases —–> travel ban extended —-> no ISL

anyway, what would be the point to have ISL with no spectators? did they find any tv deal?

swimfan210_
Reply to  ab88
2 years ago

I think the ISL said it was starting an over-the-top TV service, isl.tv.

Troyy
Reply to  swimfan210_
2 years ago

It’ll have geoblocking for sure otherwise it’ll kill any chance of more lucrative broadcasting deals.

Ghost
2 years ago

That means no Americans will participate since usa isn’t welcome in EU countries (except Croatia).

NC Fan
Reply to  Ghost
2 years ago

Orban is essentially a dictator now so he can likely do as he pleases and I’m sure Konstantin’s billions can speak a lot to a despot.

Zsolt Gaspar
Reply to  NC Fan
2 years ago

You must be a very educated individual with all your assumptions!!! Probably can’t even point out Hungary on the world map..

Attis
Reply to  Zsolt Gaspar
2 years ago

This is what they hear on the media 24/7. I don’t blame them for believe this BS.

Corn Pop
Reply to  NC Fan
2 years ago

Is he available to lead Victoria for 6 months ?

Admin
Reply to  Ghost
2 years ago

The swimmers who we’ve spoken to have indicated that some workaround has been found for that, apparently.

Taa
Reply to  Ghost
2 years ago

They probably will waive any restriction with a negative test result

FST
Reply to  Taa
2 years ago

That is how it is here (Austria). 10 day quarantine or a negative test result if you’ve been to a country on some (seemingly) arbitrary list.

Verram
2 years ago

Well Australian swimmers would have a decision to make on whether to travel all the way to Europe and back because they would be expected to self fund a two week quarantine when they get back home but I guess money is no object here

Missed
2 years ago

Ummmm nearly all of the new Covid cases in Australia are in Victoria , with a few in NSW. The state of Queensland ( where the Gold Coast is ) has closed its borders. There are no new cases in Queensland. But yes, there would be a 2 week quarantine which is pretty sensible.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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