The Budapest-based Iron team of the International Swimming League (ISL) has finalized its roster for the upcoming European Derby meet in London. That meet is already sold out, and will be held on November 23rd and 24th with sessions starting at 5:00 PM London time both days (Noon US Eastern Time).
Iron has kept most of their nucleus in tact at this meet, especially as compared to most of the other rosters we’ve seen at the two derby meets. The biggest absence is that of Kristof Milak, the 19-year old who broke Michael Phelps’ World Record in the 200 fly this summer at the World Championships. He was the 6th-best ranked Iron swimmer in the MVP standings at the team’s last meet in Budapest, which coincidentally made him only the 4th-best MVP scorer on IRON, which had a great meet to finish 2nd in front of a home crowd.
Other more minor absences include Jessica Vall, who swam this past weekend at Spanish Nationals, but who wasn’t on the roster for Budapest and scored just 1 point in Lewisville. She’s a bit superfluous as a breaststroker given that the team already has Alia Atkinson and Jenna Laukkanen. Hungarian Katalin Burian will also miss the meet after a 3-point performance in Budapest. That too, however, could be an upgrade in many ways, because her absence makes room for Dutch backstroker Kira Toussaint to make her ISL debut.
Toussaint has been on an absolute-tear this fall, having broken Dutch Records in the 50, 100, and 200 meter backstrokes in long course and the 50 and 100 backstrokes in short course. She’ll be an upgrade for Iron in the 50 and 100 backstrokes over Mie Nielsen, and based on form, could even be an upgrade in the 200 backstroke over Burian.
Depending on who all Energy Standard and the London Roar are missing at this meet (a few Australians are expected to miss the meet for London), this puts Iron in a position to, conceivably, win the meet. The complication for them is that even winning the meet (probably) won’t be enough for them to advance to the Las Vegas final, thanks to the London Roar and Energy Standard each having earned the maximum 8 season points by winning both of their meets so far this season.
For them to qualify for Las Vegas, they would need to win the meet, have either Energy Standard or London Roar finish last (including behind the Aqua Centurions, who have been 4th in both of their meets so far), and that team that finished last would have to be around 200 points behind Iron.
Still, it would be a big statement if Iron won the European derby, and could springboard them into bigger success next season if it can help them attract a little more depth. The team’s top-end swimmers are as good as anybody’s in the league, but they struggle to rack up big points via multiple relays in the top 4 and avoiding 7th and 8th place finishes like some of the other top teams have been able to do.
Iron Roster, 2019 European Derby Meet
|Ranomi Kromowidjojo||Robert Glinta|
Peter John Stevens
|Fanny Lecluyse||Szebastian Szabo|
|Maria Ugolkova||Pieter Timmers|
|Katinka Hosszu||Richard Bohus|
|Jakabos Zsuzsanna||Dominik Kozma|
|Ajna Kesely||Gunnar Bentz|
|Kim Busch||Adam Teledgy|
|Veronika Andrusenko||Ross Murdoch|
|Valerie Van Roon|