Defending League MVP Sarah Sjostrom Is Out for Match #6 of 2020 ISL Season

Olympic Champion and World Record holder Sarah Sjostrom won’t swim on Sunday and Monday in Match #6 of the 2020 International Swimming League season.

The Swede Sjostrom, who represents Energy Standard in the ISL, was the MVP of the inaugural ISL season. She says that she has been dealing with some “slight back issues” for the last few days and is “following medical advice to rest.”

Sjostrom says that she’s still training well in spite of the injury.

On Sunday and Monday, Energy Standard will swim their 2nd meet of the season against Aqua Centurions, New York Breakers, and Toronto Titans. Even without superstar Sjostrom, Energy Standard is expected to cruise to a victory at the meet. Along with the Titans, they are among the last teams in the league to swim their 2nd meet.

In their first meet, Energy Standard finished in 2nd place behind the league-leading Cali Condors. At that meet, Sjostrom finished 3rd in MVP scoring behind only Lilly King and Ryan Murphy. She won her first 4 individual events of the meet before placing 3rd in the 200 free and 2nd in the 50 fly to finish the meet. She also swam on all 3 relays, of which Energy Standard won 2 (women’s and mixed 400 free relays).

While they’ll lose Sjostrom, Energy Standard should receive the added services of Femke Heemskerk, who has joined the ISL ‘bubble’ after missing the team’s first meet with a positive coronavirus test. Heemskerk was the 19th most-valuable swimmer in the league last season, so while she doesn’t bring the same versatility of event as Sjostrom does, she’s still a huge addition for Energy Standard.

In meet 1, Heemskerk and Lucy Hope were Energy Standard’s two reserve swimmers, while league newcomers Maddy Banic and Tamara van Vliet were the team’s two relay-only swimmers.

Energy Standard still has a great butterflier on their roster, Anastasiya Shkurdai, who placed 2nd in the season-opener. Among other butterfly options are Zsu Jakabos, or even sprint specialist Pernille Blume in the 50. The veteran Jakabos actually swam a lifetime best of 58.39 in the 100 fly in long course last August at the FINA World Cup series.

Banic could be an option as well, though that would require Energy Standard to shift another swimmer to ‘relay only,’ which would be a tough shift based on their current lineup.

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11 months ago

Energy Standard’s schedule is unfairly easy compared to the rest of the league. They don’t have to swim London at all during the regular season, swim LA and Cali once, and get to swim Toronto three times.

Their next three matches look like this:
Ens vs Aqua/NY/Toronto
Ens vs DC/Toronto/Iron
Ens vs Iron/Tokyo/Toronto

Meanwhile LA and Tokyo have schedules that look like this:
LA – Tokyo 3x, Cali 2x, London 2x, ENS 1x
Tokyo – LA 3x, London 2x, Cali and ENS 1x

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Aquajosh
11 months ago

Well, when you have your own oligarch, that’s how you roll.

Reply to  Aquajosh
11 months ago

What else do you expect from the team who’s boss funds the ISL? 🙄🙄

Reply to  Aquajosh
11 months ago

Its because they were champions last season so of course they will have the easiest matches

Reply to  Aquajosh
11 months ago

I’m glad someone else spotted that… looks fishy to me

Reply to  Olympian
11 months ago

I was always curious how they decided who will race whom in the regular season. I just can’t figure it out from the schedule.

Reply to  Aquajosh
11 months ago

Wrote that like 4-5 days ago… obvious it was gonna happen

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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