Tomorrow, the World University Games (WUGs) will kick off in Naples, Italy, and will feature a handful of professional swimmers from the International Swimming League (ISL). Of the ISL pros swimming in Italy, Team USA’s Ella Eastin, Zach Apple and Gabby DeLoof, as well as Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato and Russia’s Kirill Prigoda will swim at the Universiade before heading to Gwangju, South Korea, for the 2019 FINA World Championships. Though Apple, DeLoof, and Prigoda punched their spots to Worlds much earlier, Eastin only received the nod from USA Swimming this week, and Cusinato from the Italian Swimming Federation last week.
Apple, one of Team USA’s fastest-rising sprint freestylers, will swim the 50, 100, and 200 freetyles individually at WUGs, and then the 400 and 800 freestyle relays only at Worlds in Gwangju. Apple is also a likely choice for a spot on the 400 medley relay, prelims or finals, depending how he and fellow 100 freestyle entrant Tate Jackson swim this week. Eastin, meanwhile, will swim the women’s 200 IM at both WUGs and Worlds. Eastin was given Team USA’s second berth in the 200 IM at the World Championship after Kathleen Baker, the 2018 U.S. National Champion in the event, withdrew from the event. DeLoof, similar to Apple, will swim the 100 and 200 freestyles in Italy, but only the 800 freestyle relay at the World Championships. Eastin and Apple are also team captains for the U.S. delegation in Italy.
After an incredible showing at the Setti Colli Trophy in June, Italy added Cusinato to its World Champs roster for the 200 and 400 IM. Cusinato will swim both medleys at WUGs, as well as the 200 butterfly. Prigoda will represent Russia in the 50, 100, and 200 breaststroke events at WUGs, and will likely swim the same events at Worlds, as well as the 400 medley relay.
In total, 7 of the 8 ISL teams will be represented at the World University Games: DC Trident (2), New York Breakers (3), Aqua Centurions (1), Los Angeles Current (1), London Roar (2), Energy Standard (1), and Cali Condors (3). Katinka Hosszu’s Iron Swim Team, based out of Hungary, isn’t represented.
The ISL will also be represented by other athletes from Europe and the United States at the World University Games this week.
ISL MEMBERS AT WUGS
*Competing at both World University Games and 2019 FINA World Championships
- Zach Apple, USA, DC Trident*
- Lisa Bratton, USA, DC Trident
- Ilaria Cusinato, Italy, Aqua Centurions*
- Catie DeLoof, USA, New York Breakers
- Gabby DeLoof, USA, New York Breakers*
- Ella Eastin, USA, Los Angeles Current*
- Emily Escobedo, USA, New York Breakers
- Ian Finnerty, USA, DC Trident
- Kirill Prigoda, Russia, London Roar*
- Justin Ress, USA, Cali Condors
- John Shebat, USA, Cali Condors
- Maxim Stupin, Russia, Energy Standard
- Sarah Vasey, Great Britain, London Roar
- Mark Szaranek, Great Britain, Cali Condors