International Swimming League Match 4 Day 2 Analysis Roundup


  • Group B, Match 2
  • Saturday, October 26 – Saturday, October 27, 2019
  • 6:00-8:00 PM Local Time – UTC+2 (12:00-2:00 PM, U.S. Eastern Time)
  • Duna Arena, Budapest, Hungary
  • Short Course Meters (SCM) format
  • ESPN3 Live Stream Links:
  • Group B: Iron, LA Current, London Roar, New York Breakers
  • Start Lists (pre-meet)
  • Full day 1 results
  • Full day 2 results

Quick Day 2 Analysis

The 4th match of the International Swimming League’s inaugural season has wrapped, and we can now analyze each team’s performance and what decisions may have proven key to their final overall standings.

Minna Atherton became the first-ever to break a World Record in an ISL competition, sailing to the wall in the women’s 100 backstroke in 54.89, making her the first woman ever under 55-seconds in the 100 SCM backstroke and taking 0.14 off of Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s former mark of 55.03. Only about 30 minutes before Atherton’s record-breaking swim, the Australian clocked a 55.12 leading off London Roar’s 4 x 100 medley relay, briefly making her the 2nd-fastest performer all-time. While World Records are of course exciting, the ISL does not award extra points or prize money for the achievement as FINA does.

Though her team did not win, Katinka Hosszu earned the title of MVP in front of a home crowd, finishing the meet with 47 points. London Roar’s Kyle Chalmers was the highest scorer among the men with a total of 41.5 points, 13.5 of which came from his victory in the men’s 50 freestyle skins event (27 actual points, but skins points are cut in half for MVP consideration). Chalmers squared off with Iron’s Vladimir Morozov in the skins final, taking the victory in 21.76, his third 21-second 50 freestyle in a row. Chalmers also breathed every stroke cycle of that third and final 50 freestyle, which under any other circumstance would be a heinous act in the 50 free, but in this case adds to the coolness of Chalmers’ performance.

Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo won the women’s skins, beating out London’s Cate Campbell in the final round. London passed up an opportunity to see what Bronte Campbell looks like in the 50 by replacing her with Emma McKeon who placed 5th, failing to advance past the first round.

LA Current’s Andrew Seliskar kicked off his session with a 7th-place finish in the 400 freestyle, but about half-an-hour later he rebounded to win the 200 IM, which he also won in Dallas last weekend. The women’s 200 IM was taken by Hosszu, who also won the 200 by running down LA’s Katie McLaughlin and hitting the wall a slim 0.04 ahead of the American. Hosszu also placed 4th in the 100 backstroke, and though her time was fully 3 seconds slower than her personal best, she earned Iron 5 points, which is the most important aspect of ISL competition.

Iron’s Kristof Milak held off the Current’s Tom Shields to win the men’s 200 fly in 1:49.98, which is impressive given the lazy streamlines captured by the underwater cameras.

Though the New York Breakers might have the coolest logo in the ISL they are currently tied with the Aqua Centurions for last in the league standings with only 2 points. The Breakers and the Aqua Centurions have both placed 4th in each of their two competitions this season. With only one meet remaining before the final in Las Vegas in December, it’s unlikely either the Breakers or the Centurions will be racing at Mandalay Bay.

ISL Match 4 Final Team Standings

  1. London Roar – 505.5
  2. Iron – 425.0
  3. LA Current – 408.0
  4. NY Breakers – 292.5

London Roar is officially on a winning streak, but whether they can keep the streak alive when they square off with Energy Standard at the European derby in November is anybody’s guess. Iron and the LA Current traded places this weekend, with the Hungarian team getting the better of LA and placing 2nd.

The 50 freestyle skins race proved to be the deciding factor for the battle for 2nd place overall. Iron advanced one man and one woman into the third and final rounds of each race, taking the victory on the women’s side thanks to Ranomi Kromowidjojo and getting 2nd on the men’s through Vladimir Morozov. The Current, meanwhile, advanced only one swimmer to the 2nd round of each skins competition, and none to the finals. Iron netted an impressive 52 points from the skins races alone while the Current pulled in only 29 points from the skins, a difference of 23 points that were vital to landing Iron 17 points ahead of the Current in the final standings.

Top 5 in MVP Standings

  1. Katinka Hosszu, Iron – 47.0
  2. Kyle Chalmers, London Roar – 41.5
  3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Iron – 40.5
  4. Emma McKeon, London Roar – 39.5
  5. Vladimir Morozov, Iron – 38.0

Iron and London Roar are full of top-end performers, as the MVP standings show. While this list reveals only the top 5 point-scorers from this weekend’s competition, the top 8 are from Iron and Roar alone, with each team having four athletes in the mix. Tom Shields was the LA Current’s highest scorer with 33.0, which landed him 9th in the overall rankings. The New York Breakers don’t show up until 11th where Michael Andrew tied London’s Adam Peaty with 28.5 points.

The race for 2nd in the overall team standings was a hard-fought battle between Iron and LA Current, though Iron managed to win, thanks largely to women’s skins champion Ranomi Kromowidjojo and men’s skins runner-up Vladimir Morozov. Katinka Hosszu‘s impressive individual victories were also instrumental in helping Iron finish ahead of Current, though the Current’s absence of high-scoring individuals is balanced out by its depth. Roar, on the other hand, possesses similar top-end performers who win multiple events like Iron and depth like Current, factors which contributed to today’s 80-point victory.

The Breakers have now finished 4th in the team standings two weekends in a row, just as the Rome-based Aqua Centurions did in their first two ISL meets. The Breakers and the DC Trident will have an interesting battle for third at the derby in Maryland next month, while the two California teams duke it out for first and second. But based on what we’ve seen so far of the newfound rivalry between the Cali Condors and Energy Standard in Group A, the Cali Condors should be the heavy favorites for the team title at the U.S. derby three weeks from now.

Complete Day 2 Analysis Recap

Women’s 100 Freestyle

Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon got things off to a fearsome start for London Roar by tying for first place. Though Campbell was out half-a-second faster, McKeon charged down the final 25 meters to hit the wall simultaneously with her fellow Lion/Dolphin. With a time of 51.02 both women now share the world-leading time in the SCM version of this race.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

Kyle Chalmers nabbed another win for London in the men’s 100 free with a commanding 45.77 to win by a body-length. Vlad Morozov and Nathan Adrian were out fast but couldn’t hang with Chalmers on the final 50 meters. Chalmers, who is also an adept 100 meter butterfly racer in LCM, ricocheted off the third wall to take what became an insurmountable lead over the other 7 men in the pool.

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

Alia Atkinson captures decisive points for Iron with a win in the 100 breaststroke. Atkinson was out fast as ever and still managed to hold off Breeja Larson, perhaps the best back-half swimmer in the field. Though Atkinson and Larson represent different clubs, both represented the Texas A&M Aggies in NCAA competition during their amateur careers. Jenna Laukkanen secured Iron another 4 points with a 5th-place finish.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

Adam Peaty showcased his signature super turnover to take the win in the men’s 100 breaststroke in 56.19. While Peaty is far and away the most dominant 100 breaststroke competitor in the Olympic venue, he is not considered the obvious favorite in the short course venues. Kirill Prigoda nabbed another 6 points for Roar with a 3rd-place finish, while LA’s Felipe Lima sandwiched himself between the two, securing 7 points for the Current, last weekend’s second-place team in their ISL debut in Dallas. Peaty’s time was nearly a full second faster than Lima’s, who hit in 57.04 ahead of Prigoda’s 57.29. The New York Breakers and Iron did not fare well in this race, placing 4th/6th and 5th/8th, respectively.

Women’s 400 Freestyle

Anja Kesely won the women’s 400 freestyle on home turf as both a Hungarian and a member of Iron, hitting the wall in 4:01.27. Iron teammate Veronika Andrusenko slammed a 4:02.10 to take 2nd, bringing in another 7 points for Iron for a total of 16 in that race alone. Boglarka Kapas and Mireia Belmonte finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, bringing in a total of 11 points for London Roar, which has proven itself to be the most dominant European team in Group B. The European derby will pit Energy Standard and London Roar against one another for what should be a very exciting battle. LA Current, an American team with the depth and top-end talent to put Roar on watch last weekend in Dallas in the overall points battle, did not fare as well in this event with 5th and 8th place finishes, and was deducted a point for their 8th-place finisher hitting the wall above the minimum time standard in this race. The Breakers finished 6th and 7th.

Men’s 400 Freestyle

Elijah Winnington took the men’s 400 freestyle with a 3:38.30, over a second ahead of Iron’s Kristof Milak, who surely uses middle-distance freestyle to supplement his 200 butterfly training. Henrik Christiansen took 4th for Iron, securing them a vital 12 points total in this event. LA Current had a poor showing with 7th and 8th-place finishes in this heat, though the Current will be very strong in other races, particularly the upcoming 200 IM and 100 backstroke, so the setback is not necessarily detrimental, and Andrew Seliskar, Current’s 7th-place finisher, is the odds-on favorite in the men’s 200 IM, which will start only about 30 minutes later.

Women’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay

Atherton blasted out to a commanding lead in the 100 backstroke to lead off London Roar’s 4 x 100 medley relay, throwing down a 55.12 for the second-fastest time in history, behind only Katinka Hosszu‘s 55.03, the World Record. Atherton will swim the 100 backstroke individually in about 30 minutes–perhaps the excitement and adrenaline of her new lifetime best/Australian National Record/Oceanic Record will fuel her to become the fastest woman in history in the SCM version of this race. If Atherton hadn’t swum the first leg it might have been a close race as the other three swimmers didn’t pull away from the rest to nearly the same extent as Atherton who set up the massive lead for the Roar. Cate Campbell, co-champion earlier this session in the 100 freestyle, sealed the deal as the anchor on roar’s medley with a 51.70, the fastest split in the field. Apparently hoping to split the relays, Roar’s “B” team featured Emma McKeon on butterfly where she posted a 55.42, the fastest time in the field. Had she been on the “A” team instead of Barratt then Roar’s two-second victory would have been even greater. The tactic paid off, however, as Roar went 1-2 in the women’s 4 x 100 medley, securing 32 total points. Amy Bilquist led off in 56.59 for the LA Current, just ahead of London’s “B” team, which was led off by Holly Barratt in 56.60. The Current placed 3rd and 7th in the relay, while the Breakers were 4th and 6th and Iron 5th and 8th, a poor showing for the home team, which is locked in a tight battle with Current for 2nd-place in team standings.

Men’s 200 IM

After placing a mere 7th in the men’s 400 free, LA Current’s Andrew Seliskar took a commanding win in the men’s 200 IM. Though he was near even with the field at 100 meters, he distanced himself on the breaststroke and the freestyle. Josh Prenot, a former NCAA Champion in the 400 yard IM and 200 yard breaststroke, poured on his own closing speed to hit the wall 2nd–big points for the Current. Gunnar Bentz and David Varaszto placed 3rd and 6th for Iron. The Breakers suffer from 7th and 8th-place finishes.

Women’s 200 IM

Katinka Hosszu dominated the women’s 200 IM, despite swimming out of lane 8. London’s Sydney Pickrem looked to challenge Hosszu over the first 100 meters, but couldn’t hang with the Iron Lady on the final 100. Hosszu’s new training will be put to the test later when she dives back in to swim the women’s 200 butterfly, a race that will in feature four of the same women as the IM, barring any last-minute changes by the coaches.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

Szebasztian Szabo wins the men’s 50 fly to secure much-needed points for Iron, which is locked in a battle for 2nd in the team standings with LA Current. Current’s Tom Shields placed 2nd, while Current’s Dylan Carter and Iron’s Kristof Milak split the 4th place points due to a tie. Roar finished in an uncharacteristic 7th and 8th, though they will not be hurt by this result as their current lead is so massive.

Women’s 50 Butterfly

Beryl Gastaldello’s win in the 50 fly pairs nicely with Farida Osman’s 4th-place finish to bring in 14 points for the Current. Roar, meanwhile, sandwiched themselves in between with 2nd and 3rd-place efforts for a total of 13 points. Iron’s 6th and 7th-place finishes are great for the Current.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

London’s Guilherme Guido upset Current’s Ryan Murphy for the 2nd weekend in a row, hitting the wall first in the men’s 100 back. Murphy and Matt Grevers secure 12 points for Current, giving them two solid heats in a row. The Breakers finish 7th and 8th, falling further behind in the points standings.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

Roar’s Minna Atherton set the first World Record ever in ISL competition with a 54.89 in the women’s 100 backstroke. While times are not the main focus of these competitions, a World Record is a World Record, and let’s not kid ourselves, it’s freaking cool. Amy Bilquist took 2nd for LA Current while Linnea Mack took 5th, giving Current 11 points. Absolutely zero extra points were earned by Atherton’s World Record; Atherton’s teammate Holly Barratt placed 7th netting 2 points, which means that Roar and Current actually earned an equal 11 points in this event.

Mixed 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay

London Roar’s victory in the mixed 4 x 100 freestyle relay is important, obviously–the Roar hit the wall nearly 2 seconds ahead of LA Current. Roar’s second team which placed 5th also made an important contribution to their team’s campaign if for no other reason than by once again beating out LA Current for that spot, whose “B” team picked up 6th and 6 points.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

Iron’s Katinka Hosszu mounted a charge over the final 50 meters to take the victory in the women’s 200 fly in her final individual race of the meet, getting ahead of Current’s Katie McLaughlin by 0.04. Szuszana Jackabos nabbed 4th and 5 more points for Iron, while overall point leaders London placed 5th and 6th.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

Kristof Milak won the men’s 200 fly, getting his hands on the wall just ahead of Current’s Tom Shields. Current fared well in this event thanks to a 3rd-place finish by Jack Conger, securing a total of 13 points for LA.  The Breakers did not fare as well with 6th and 7th-place finishes.

Women’s 50 Freestyle Skins

London Roar gambled on the women’s skins race by replacing Bronte Campbell with Emma McKeon, who failed to advance beyond the 1st heat. Had London utilized Bronte Campbell they could have at least gotten a preview of what she might bring to the table at the Finals in Las Vegas in December. Sister and teammate Cate Campbell, meanwhile, advanced to the 2nd round, alongside Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo, the Breaker’s Pernille Blume, and LA’s Beryl Gastaldello. Kromowidjojo and Campbell secured themselves triple points by advancing to the 3rd and final round, which was won by Kromowidjojo, last weekend’s women’s skins champion. Kromowidjojo was explosive off the blocks in the 3rd round, setting up a lead she carried through to the end, hitting the wall to bring Iron 27 points to Campbell’s 21.

Men’s 50 Freestyle Skins

Just like the women’s skins event, all four teams advanced one swimmer to the 2nd round, with Vladimir Morozov leading the pack with a 20.90 for Iron. Kyle Chalmers of the Breakers, Nathan Adrian of LA Current, and Kyle Chalmers of London Roar also advance. Morozov led through the first 25 meters of the 2nd round but was overtaken on the 2nd lap by Chalmers, who touched first. Chalmers and Morozov advance to the final round and will earn triple points. Adrian and Andrew do not advance but still earn double the regular points for their efforts. Chalmers takes the victory in round 3, breathing every stroke yet still managing to hit the wall in under 22 seconds. Chalmers and Caeleb Dressel, the skins champion from Naples, swam 21s in all 3 of their 50s in their respective skins events this weekend and two weeks ago. In terms of team points, Chalmers brings in another 27 points for Roar while Morozov pulls in 21 for Iron, crucial to their 2nd-place campaign in the team standings.

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1 year ago

Can somebody fill me in on Kyle Chalmer’s LCM butterfly prowess? I cannot remember hearing about him race butterfly at any major international competitions.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  FlyNDie
1 year ago

He hasn’t competed in the 100 fly at a major international competition, only in Australia. Although I believe he’s been 52.0.

Reply to  FlyNDie
1 year ago

I don’t think he has, but I think he’s swam a couple of 51.’s at domestic competitions just for fun. I’d be keen to see him do a 100 fly in peak condition. Probably a 50.

Brian Zhang
Reply to  FlyNDie
1 year ago

I believe he swam the 100 fly at Aussie world champ trials this year and won with a 52 low, but that’s basically the only time Chalmers swam butterfly in LCM (that I know of).

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  FlyNDie
1 year ago

going into this year, his pb was 53.00 from 2016. but he lowered it twice this year – 52.6 in march and 52.0 in april. aside from swimming it at age group nationals, (which were his target meet prior to 2015) he’s never taken the event seriously and only swims it now because he likes having a swim on day 1 of a meet.

Reply to  Old Man Chalmers
1 year ago

It would be nice to see him take it more seriously. The men’s 100 fly is pretty weak in Australia so it wouldn’t be too difficult to make the team. He holds a couple age group records in the fly so he probably has the talent.

1 year ago

That what is wrong with the design of ISL type of competition when MVP can be a swimmer who showed pretty much mediocre results. Yes, we saw world record, but will be the swimmer benefit from it besides the earning general admiration and possible increase of the interest of sponsors in her. But that has nothing to do with ISL. Yes, her presence in the competition will most likely increase earnings of ISL, but she will get nothing of that. The major principle of successful business – the better one performs the more this person gets and the poor performance shouldn’t be awarded – is broken here. If ISL management doesn’t fix that then they will be down eventually. Unless… Read more »

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

would hosszu winning both ims at 31 in tokyo next year live up to your standards?

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Hosszu individually won the 200/400 IM and 200 fly, got 2nd in the 200 back, got 3rd in the 200 free, and got 4th in the 100 back. That’s a pretty fantastic performance for this format. If we ignore skins, her 45 individual points is the most of anybody across all four meets so far by a lot (2nd would be le Clos’s 36.5 from Naples, 3rd would be Hosszu herself with 36 in Dallas as well as Sjostrom in Indy). And even if we include skins, we only have Sjostrom (63 and 61), Dressel (61), Morozov (52 in Dallas), Manaudou (50 in Indy), and Kromowidjojo (50 and 45) ahead or tied with her. That puts her 6th out of… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Barry
1 year ago

This is great, but it’s not going to shut him up.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Yeah. But I enjoyed writing it.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

When has the meet MVP ever been based on one single swim? That’s just silly…it’s nearly always based upon a combination of quality and quantity.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

Are you talking about Dressel, Vlad, or Hosszu? They all had mediocre results compared to their best times. You can look at Olympic finals and see pretty much the same thing. At the last Olympics, C1, Seebohm, Larkin, Cseh, Flo, Vlad, and many others bombed.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

They should add bonus MVP points for a world record

1 year ago

Saying Cali Condors is a heavy favorite over LA Current is a bold call. Energy Standard was objectively bad in Naples, and Iron is a fairly strong team, which is why things looked so dire for LA Current.

LA Current actually outperforms Cali Condors in a head-to-head (Naples vs. Budapest times) in my Las Vegas projections. This is with the caveat that I’m not sure how the head-to-head goes with DC Trident and NY Breakers thrown into the mix instead of the European teams, because relative placing is obviously crucial. But LA and Cali have opposite strengths, so the American derby will be fun to watch. I bet it will be close.

Reply to  BairnOwl
1 year ago

I think the hometown advantage of the Trident is going to give them an edge. They’re also (hopefully) going to have all their swimmer there, including Ledecky. I know this format isn’t her best but she could still swim a great 4free, 2free, 4im, and maybe drop down to a 1free for a relay. Also, if (hopefully) the IU pros like Zapple, Howard, Miller, Finnerty, etc are rested a bit and shaved then they can pull some better results.

Reply to  Nate
1 year ago

What hometown advantage??

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Nate
1 year ago

hometown advantage? it didn’t help team iron beat london roar in budapest (which they need to do to make the final) and aqua centurions still came last in naples. dc trident will come 3rd in the american derby unless ny breakers somehow beats them. the top 2 american teams are cali condors and la current no question.

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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