ISL First 5: Iron Retains Hosszu & Kromowidjojo, but No Sakci Yet

The ISL’s Team Iron will retain four of its top five scorers from 2020 – but not team MVP Emre Sakci – in its first five.

Iron announced Ranomi Kromowidjojo (the league’s #9 regular-season scorer), Nicholas Santos (#19), Katinka Hosszu (#33), Melanie Henique (#45) and Robert Glinta (#192) as its first five swimmers retained.

Sakci was the league’s rookie of the year in 2020, finishing 6th leaguewide in individual scoring and winning two 50 breast skins races. He is not among the first five retained. He could be retained in a later round, but may also be a late withdrawal from the league.

One of the top teams outside the league final, Iron had a strong skin race delegation, including Sakci and Kromowidjojo, a two-time skin race runner-up. Kromowidjojo and Henique made up such a formidable 50 fly duo that no team ever chose to challenge Iron in the 50 fly skins on the women’s side.

Santos was one of the top butterfly skin racers on the men’s side.

Notable names not yet retained by Iron: Jenna Laukkanen (#70 in regular-season scoring), Leonardo Santos (#77), David Verraszto (#95), Guilherme Basseto (#99) and world record-holding 200 flyer Kristof Milak, who missed last season after a brutal bout with COVID-19.

Iron also has a new head coach – Luka Gabrilo.


First, a quick refresher on personnel rules, as announced by the league:

Each team can retain up to 16 swimmers from their 2020 rosters across six different rounds of retention:

  1. 5 pre-selected athletes to retain
  2. 4 athletes announced in round 1 of retention
  3. 3 athletes announced in round 2 of retention
  4. 2 athletes announced in round 3 of retention
  5. 1 athlete announced in round 4 of retention
  6. 1 athlete voted on by fans (this round of retention comes after the first round of the ISL draft, though)

After that, players not retained will fall to the ISL Draft Pool, where the Aqua Centurions and DC Trident will each have a first-round pick. The Draft Pool will include unretained players, but also ISL rookies, like NCAA graduates and other new ISL additions.

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NOT the frontman of Metallica
2 years ago

Sakci on the free market looking for $$$.
Or is all internal base pay equal in the teams so the only difference is most points?
That would make for a very boring setting of the league

Reply to  NOT the frontman of Metallica
2 years ago

Athletes are telling us all base pay is equal. League is not responding to questions so far.

It also is becoming clear that athletes didn’t have to stay with their prior teams, even if those prior teams wanted to retain them, which takes a lot of the teeth out of the protection system.

2 years ago

Next year they will use carbon12 to know Santos age

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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