Dutch national record holder Kira Toussaint has been a formidable member of the International Swimming League (ISL) team of London Roar through just the first week of season 2.
The 26-year-old backstroke ace amassed 47.5 points in the most recent match against DC Trident, Aqua Centurions, and Iron, ranking her 7th among the match 2’s MVP rankings.
Toussaint had originally planned on returning to her training group in her native Netherlands at the beginning of November to continue her journey to the postponed 2020 Olympic Games. However, per her social media announcement, Toussaint has changed course and decided to stay with her Roar teammates in the Budapest bubble.
“Just very happy to be here. I feel safe and feeling very fortunate to be able to compete at a very high level. I think I won’t have this opportunity anywhere else before the Olympics. That’s why I have decided to stay and roar 🦁 with @isl_londonroar for the whole journey. My original plan was to join my training group at home from November 2nd on. #ISL2020 #roarforlondon”
Toussaint’s times in Budapest have been among her best-ever, with her 25.75 50m backstroke skins opening round swim matching her own national record from last year.
The former Tennessee Vol is surrounded by Roar teammates to the tune of Germany’s Christian Diener, Greece’s Andreas Vazaios, Britain’s Anna Hopkin and fellow female backstroker Kathleen Dawson of Scotland, creating a dynamic and, reflected by her times, effective training group.
Toussaint told SwimSwam today, “While being here I realized how good we have it here [in Budapest]. Here I know I for sure I can train well and get to compete on a very high level.”
In terms of how her training works logistically, Toussaint said, “I’m doing my own practices from my home coach while Mel Marshall is helping me out with them here.”
There are several other Dutch swimmers competing in this season 2 of the ISL, such as match #2’s MVP Ranomi Kromowidjojo, competing for Iron. But others have backed off, including European Short Course champion Arno Kamminga who opted out of the ISL altogether.