The Energy Standard training group are preparing “100%” for the ISL’s second season, head coach James Gibson has stated. The season is to be comprised of a 5-week training camp and competition, with Budapest dubbed as the front-runner to host.
The Energy Standard training group, which is not the same as the ISL team but features a heavy overlap in personnel, returned to their training base in Antalya, Turkey this week to start their Olympic season. As we reported in July, the athletes were able to return for a 4-week training block at the end of July as travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic were eased in some countries.
However, Gibson said the group dispersed once again to take a “mental break and reset the focus” ahead of the 2021 season. He also emphasized that the upcoming ISL season has given the athletes some newfound direction and a renewed positive attitude after months of uncertainty.
“There’s still a lot of unknowns about what’s going to happen next year. We do have a clear objective in the plan now, so what we do is plan with the information that we have. The short-term objective is the ISL and we’re prepping for that 100% because at the minute that’s the only certainty”, said Gibson.
Speaking on the ISL, he said: “We want to retain our title, we know that the other teams are going to be exceptionally strong. There’s definitely a buzz in the group at the minute.” Energy Standard will have competition from two new teams which have joined the ISL ahead of this season – the Toronto Titans and the Tokyo Frog Kings*.
Training in Antalya at present are Sarah Sjostrom, Florent Manaudou, Pernille Blume, Ben Proud, Georgia Davies, Mykhailo Romanchuk, Sergey Shevtsov, Simonas Bilis, Kregor Zirk, Viktoria Gunes, and Sergey Frolov.
A notable absence is Olympic gold medalist and World record holder Chad le Clos, who remains in South Africa due to restrictions there preventing him from travelling to Turkey.
On this, Gibson said: “It’s been a bit of a challenge to get certain athletes back to Turkey but we just work as best we can – we send programmes all over the world to the people that need them and we support them from afar.”
More details on season 2 are set to be announced next week.