McKeon competed for London in 2019, finishing 3rd across the league in individual scoring. Chalmers competed that year as well, finishing 15th despite swimming just three of the possible four meets. McKeon withdrew last season as Australians faced tough travel restrictions amid the pandemic. Chalmers withdrew for injury reasons.
Toussaint was the team’s top individual scorer last year (#16 across the league in the regular-season), and set a world record in the 50 back. Pickrem was just the #53 overall scorer in the regular season, but perhaps does gain some extra value with the new ISL rules boosting 400 IM and 400 free scoring. Swimmers gain extra points for their place in each of those events at the 100-meter checkpoint.
Atkinson won a 50 breast skins race and was the team’s second individual scorer of the regular season at #21 leaguewide.
London finished third last season without its strong Australian core. With most of those 2020 opt-outs registered for the league in 2021, London has arguably the league’s deepest pool of swimmers to retain from. Swimmers not yet retained include Australian sprint star Cate Campbell, British breaststroke dominator Adam Peaty (#44 in regular season scoring), the versatile Duncan Scott (#37), freestyler Freya Anderson (#31 despite not swimming opening week)Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse, 2019 world record-setter Minna Atherton (who withdrew in 2020), backstroker Guilherme Guido (#38) and British standouts Tom Dean (#195), James Guy (#233) and Kathleen Dawson (#189).
All of those swimmers were originally registered for the ISL this season, but as we’re seeing around the league, it’s not clear yet which swimmers have chosen to withdraw from the league since that early announcement of 940 registered swimmers.
DRAFT/PLAYER RETENTION RULES
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:
- 5 pre-selected athletes to retain
- 4 athletes announced in round 1 of retention
- 3 athletes announced in round 2 of retention
- 2 athletes announced in round 3 of retention
- 1 athlete announced in round 4 of retention
- 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.