New York Breakers Use 15 Men In Match 8 After Marco Koch Injury


German breaststroker Marco Koch sustained an injury on day one of the International Swimming League’s eighth match.

In analyzing the results of Match 8, it became clear that the New York Breakers used 15 male swimmers for the match — 13 in individual events — which is one over the allowed limit per league rules.

Now we know why, as Koch, who won the men’s 200 breaststroke by over two seconds on the opening day, received a medal exemption for day two, allowing the club to move Brandonn Almeida into the lineup.

However, the rules do indicate that if a swimmer is injured, one of the “relay only” swimmers can be put in individual events rather than someone coming off the bench. The designated relay swimmers for the Breakers in the match were Damian Wierling and Jacob Whittle.

Marco Koch got injured after day one,” Breaker head coach Martin Truijens confirmed to SwimSwam. “Based on the ISL rules you can enter another player (outside of the 12 men) when given a medical exemption for Marco’s injury. We got that exemption and therefore were able to put in Brandonn Almeida.”

The status of Koch’s injury is unknown at this time. The Breakers are off for the final week of the regular season, with a semi-final berth almost a lock barring a dramatic performance from the Aqua Centurions. The semi-final matches are scheduled for November 14-15 and 15-16, respectively, which gives Koch some time to recover.

The ISL confirmed they were aware of the extra swimmer used for day two and “have already taken action about the matter.” The league did not clarify what action was taken.

In his three previous appearances this season, the 30-year-old Koch swam both the 100 breast and the men’s 400 medley relay for the Breakers, while also racing the 50 breast in Match 6 and the skins in Match 4 when breaststroke was the selected stroke.

In the 200 breast, Koch has gone an undefeated 4/4, including throwing down the fifth-fastest performance of all-time in Match 6, just four-tenths outside of the world record. In the medley relays, he’s been their top option on breast, splitting sub-57 every time out.

Overall, Koch ranks 19th in the league scoring through eight matches with 113.5 points, ranking him second on the Breakers behind only Michael Andrew (114.5).

In his absence on day two of Match 8, James Wilby took his place in the 100 breast, getting his points jackpotted in eighth place. Wilby also swam the 50, where he was jackpotted in seventh, and swam on the ‘B’ medley relay while Andrew took Koch’s usual spot on the ‘A’ team. Andrew, who swam backstroke on the relay in matches 1 and 4 and did fly in Match 6, split 57.02 on breast, right around where Koch has consistently been this year.

The swimmer that was allowed to swim after Koch’s injury, Almeida, had a very strong performance in the men’s 400 IM, placing second in 4:03.61 to score seven points. Almeida had sat out of the season opener, but had placed second in the 400 IM and sixth in the 200 IM in both Match 6 and 8.

It was Lewis Clareburt, who hadn’t competed since Match 1, who was initially put on the Match 8 roster over Almeida. Clareburt was sixth in the 200 IM, seventh in the 200 fly and swam on the Breaker men’s 400 free relay on day one.

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1 year ago

Didn’t seem to help….

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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