The London Roar of the International Swimming League (ISL) have finalized their roster for this weekend’s finale in Las Vegas, Nevada. There are no new faces on the team, but the Roar will get a lot of their big names, especially Australians, back after missing the European Derby meet.
3 swimmers who have represented the Roar this season won’t be present in Las Vegas. That includes Bruno Fratus on the men’s side, who was only ever committed to 1 meet anyway, and on the women’s side Taylor McKeown. Peter Bernek, who swam at the European Derby, also won’t be on the roster for Las Vegas.
The Roar, even though they were missing big chunks of their lineup for multiple meets this season, tended to just swim shorthanded rather than try to fill those holes with short-term signings.
After leading early in the European Derby, Energy Standard, a team which has mastered the ISL format better than most to this point, swooped in at the last minute to win that title and top the European table. The Roar, however, were without Kyle Chalmers, Cam McEvoy, Elijah Winnington, Jess Hansen, Mireia Belmonte, and Matt Wilson at that meet. The most painful of those absences was Chalmers, who won the triple-points skins event in Budapest. Without him, they had no men final in the skins event in the European Derby. Winnington also had a big impact in his 2 meets, winning the 400 free in both Lewisville and Budapest. Bernek, his replacement in that event, was just 7th in the 400 free in London.
With a full roster returned for Las Vegas, the Roar, on paper, are the heavy favorites. The caveat here, though, is that the two European teams, the Roar and Energy Standard, are heavy on European swimmers, and Europe is coming off the European Championships last week. That means some athletes will be having to try and double-taper.
But that won’t impact as many Europeans as it might seem for the Roar: they have a ton of Australian and Canadian swimmers who won’t face that same conflict, plus a number of their European athletes didn’t actually race at the European Championships (Peaty and Belmonte, for example).
Only Energy Standard have yet to announce their roster for Las Vegas, and so far there haven’t been any major new additions to any teams’ rosters for the championship – though the LA Current did pick up 1 swimmer, Maddy Banic.
Racing begins on Friday, December 20th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and concludes on Saturday, December 21st.