ISL Playoffs Match 4: LA Current’s Sara Franceschi Out With COVID-19


  • Saturday, November 20 – Sunday, November 21
  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm local time; 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
  • Pieter van den Hoogenband Zwemstadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands
  • Short Course Meters (25m – SCM) Format
  • ISL Season 3 Schedules, Start Times, & More
  • Day 1 Start Lists
  • Results
  • Teams Competing: Cali Condors, London Roar, LA Current, Iron

LA Current swimmer Sara Franceschi is missing the fourth match of the International Swimming League playoffs after contracting COVID-19, she posted on Instagram Saturday.

“Unfortunately, at this Match at @iswimleague I will not be able to compete with my @lacurrent team because a few days ago I tested positive for Covid-19. This virus has put me to the test both physically and mentally but fortunately I am fine. There was no lack of moments of failure, the tears, the loneliness that this virus makes you feel, the days are long and boring. I am aware of everything that is happening to me and I am facing these obstacles day in and day out. I found my strength in so many beautiful people with whom I am fortunately surrounded,” she wrote (translated from Italian). “For this I would like to give special thanks: First of all my family who supports me every day and gives me the strength to go on. My new team @lacurrent made up of special people who show me great affection every day by bringing me gifts, sending me videos, visiting me and making my days the best! They are a real family! A team that thrilled me last match by managing to win the rankings despite numerous absences. 💜💛 And finally there are them, my teammates from Livorno @livornoaquatics, the guys with whom I train, joke and spend most of my life who despite the distance are making themselves feel very close and support me, fill me with affection and of smiles telling me anecdotes of my hometown. I hope to return soon to do what I love most and that makes me happy!”

Franceschi is the No. 10-ranked 400 IMer in the league this season on the women’s side and No. 15 in the 200 IM.

After finishing second in the 400 IM at the 2021 European Championships, Franceschi is already qualified for the 2021 Short Course World Championships in December. If she returns to action at the Italian Short Course Championships, which begin on Nov. 30, Franceschi could potentially have the opportunity to make the Worlds team in an additional event — her best chance would be in the 200 IM.

Franceschi was a 2016 and 2020 Olympian for Italy, competing in the 200 IM at the former and both the 200 and 400 IM at the latter. The LA Current are facing a battle to advance to the ISL final, paired with the London Roar throughout the playoffs, after pulling off a surprise win in their first playoff match.

A number of ISL swimmers have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days and weeks. Most prominently, Iron’s Katinka Hosszu announced on Friday that she tested positive and will not race in Eindhoven this week during the ISL season and “not for a while.”

The Netherlands put into effect new COVID-19 restrictions last week that included a ban on spectators at indoor sporting events. That means the remaining ISL playoff matches, at least, will be spectatorless.

The Netherlands, like much of Europe, is in the midst of a substantial spike in new cases of COVID-19. The country recorded 21,026 new cases on Friday, just below its new daily record of 23,592 on Thursday.

Deaths, a lagging indicator in COVID-19 spikes, have begun to rise again, though are not at record levels. The country has averaged 29 deaths per day over the last week attributed to COVID-19. At its peak of cases in April, the country was averaging 152 deaths per day.

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About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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