Top 8 Performances in the 2019 ISL Season So Far

This year’s International Swimming League has given us some of the most exciting races and fastest swims of the season so far. With just two matches out of six left in the regular season, we have a pretty good idea of what four teams will be heading to the final showdown in Las Vegas. Energy Standard currently sit in first place in Europe, followed by London Roar. In the US, the Cali Condors and LA Current lead the way, and it would take a veritable freakish performance for either of them to be knocked from the Las Vegas final.

The league’s next match will take place in the Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Washington DC on November 16th and 17th. Racing that weekend are all the US-based teams; Cali Condors, LA Current, NY Breakers and DC Trident in what the ISL is calling the “U.S. Derby” meet.

1. Minna Atherton’s 100m Backstroke World Record 

Top spot has got to go to 19-year-old Atherton’s World Record in the 100m backstroke. She set a new Commonwealth and Australian Record in the Women’s 4x100m medley relay earlier that evening in a time of 55.12, only to later become the first woman ever under the 55 second mark in 54.89. This is the first World Record the ISL has seen, and will be ratified by FINA. Katinka Hozzsu previously held the World Record for this event with 55.03, a time she swam back in 2014. 

2. Katie Ledecky’s American (and near World) Record in the 400m Free

In Match 1 of ISL, hosted in Indianapolis, Katie Ledecky set a new American Record in the 400m freestyle in a time of 3.54.06, shaving a considerable 3 seconds off Katie Hoff’s previous record of 3.57.07. Ledecky narrowly missed out on the World Record by just 0.14, currently held by Australia’s Ariarne Titmus (3.53.92). Titmus was in Action for the Cali Condors in the same event, however Ledecky went out hard, edging ahead after 75m. Ledecky held and grew that lead throughout the race, with Titmus finishing second overall ahead of third place and fellow DC Trident teammate, Hali Flickinger. 

3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo Dominates Skins for 2nd Week Running 

Ranomi Kromowidjojo has put on an impressive display in all the ISL matches she has competed in so far. The skins events have been electric to watch, and Kromowidjoj has delivered victory for Team Iron in both skins events she has raced in. In Lewisville, she battled it out against London Roar’s Emma McKweon, but managed to out-touched the Australian winning a whopping 27 points for her team. 

In Budapest, it was London Roar’s Cate Campbell who was up against Kromowidjojo in the final skins race. Ranomi once again held off her opponent, finishing a full body-length ahead of Campbell to take home another valuable win for Iron. 

4. Caeleb Dressel’s Explosive Swims in Naples

After missing Match 1 in Indy, Caeleb Dressel made his ISL debut in Naples with a double win in the 50m individual freestyle and skins events. Both times he was racing Energy Standards’ Florent Manaudou, who won the skins events in Indy. This exciting pairing saw Dressel pull out a 20.64 to win the individual, as well as a  21.05, 21.31, and 21.33 sequence in the skins event, beating Manaudou by 1.8 seconds. These swims warranted him the title of MVP in Naples, and made for some of the most exciting swims across the entire weekend.   

5. Chad le Clos Retains 100m Butterfly Title 

Energy Standard Team Captain Chad le Clos managed to retain his 100m Butterfly title from Indy in what was a nail-bitingly close finish between him and Caeleb Dressel. In Match 1, he clocked a winning time of 49.65. However in Naples, he was pushed by Dressel to go under that and won the race by just 0.01 of a second with 49.35. Dressel won the 50m Butterfly in Naples, but le Clos clawed back the win in the 100m for his team. 

6. Adam Peaty Secures Win in 50m Breaststroke in Budapest

Adam Peaty is known for his incredible closing-speed, but over a 50 it’s definitely harder to gain any ground over his competitors given the deficit he often has off the blocks. Peaty showed us it’s not impossible though when he took the win for London Road in Budapest last month. Vladimir Morozov of Iron was first to the touch at 25m, but Peaty fought back and out-touched the Russian swimmer to win in a time of 25.85. He continued his winning streak in the 100m breaststroke, swimming 56.19. These two times are the fastest in the world this year, a fantastic start to the Olympic Cycle from Peaty.  

7. Sarah Sjostrom’s MVP Worthy Performance in Indy 

Sarah Sjostrom kicked off the the first ISL Match with a bang, racking up 5 wins in total in Indianapolis. She made history by winning the first ever ISL event, the women’s 100m butterfly, in a time of 55.65. She continued her winning streak across the weekend, winning the 50m butterfly (25.16), the 50m freestyle (23.58), the 100m freestyle (51.76) and the skins race. Her dominant form has granted her the title of highest-earner so far in the ISL, with a total of $31,400. 

8. Breno Correia’s Back-To-Back 200m Freestyle Wins 

Aqua Centurions originally had Travis Mahoney on their roster to race the 200m free in Indy, but subbed in Correia as a last minute substitute. He stepped up to the challenge, claiming the win in 1.44.21 ahead of fellow DC swimmer Poul Zellmann (1.44.71), and Cali Condor’s Kacper Majchzrak (1.44.90). The following week in Naples, Correia was in the 200m free lineup again, where he took home a second win for the Centurions. This time, he clocked 1.43.56 to out-touch Majchzrak (1.43.58) once again, as well as Energy Standard’s Ivan Girev. Correia has been one of the big surprises of the season so far, and has given the kind of story that will help build this league.

 

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Rafael
2 years ago

I would exchange Breno for Guido
Winning all races against a very tough field

Troyy
Reply to  Rafael
2 years ago

Good point. I think he has probably been the most clutch swimmer in ISL so far.

Swammer
2 years ago

I love list articles. But I believe the list would be better if it began with the 8th best swim and finished with the first. As a reader, if I read the most impressive swim first, it takes the suspense away and causes me to want to skim through the rest. This is just my opinion so idk

Admin
Reply to  Swammer
2 years ago

Good feedback, thanks!

Tusup4Pres
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

How about Minna Atherton 1:59 200m back?

Yozhik
Reply to  Swammer
2 years ago

It is a reporting but not a fiction with suspense. What if I am not interested in the performance #35 or #21 or even in #8. Unless I’m looking for opinion on performance of particular swimmer I can go to the end of the list right away. I don’t see why your preferences are better than mine if we care about readers’ time.

Swammer
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

I respect that opinion. There are two sides to the story. If one is looking at this article as a news piece of fact, I believe the order does not matter. However, if you see the story as an objective column, which I believe most lists are, there are some components that one would find in a story. If you simply wanted to view the times, you would check the results, if you wanted to see an objective look at the times, you would read this article. Again, just my opinion and I totally understand where you are coming from.

Yozhik
Reply to  Swammer
2 years ago

Never take my comments seriously. Most of the time it is a time killing 😀 Same as you I like suspense in sport and in stories about it. Despite it is just a reporting it should be done professionally to catch and to keep readers attention. Don’t count on comments contribution to make the article most visited. Public forums on swimming sites are most of the time boring and in many cases is the competition between regulars who knows more historical facts or who can come up with the most absurdist predictions. Your opinion was endorsed by the Chief Editors who does this job for living. So without any doubts it is more valuable and preferable.
Best wishes.

Samesame
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

You must have a lot of time to kill Yozhik

Yozhik
Reply to  Samesame
2 years ago

That is the sad side of the life. On the other hand you are blessed to read so much of Yozhik. Everything is balanced in this World. 😀
BTW do you know what’s happened to HSWIMMER? He was in discussion of any topics and his posts were the first ones. Is he alive?

Yozhik
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

I don’t know if your device shows “smiling face” icon. That means a joke. People who don’t joke themselves and don’t understand jokes are dangerous people. Please, notice that the last statement wasn’t a joke or sarcasm.

Floater
2 years ago

I still think Marco Koch beating Adam Peaty is worthy of note.

Admin
Reply to  Floater
2 years ago

Koch won a race that was absent the top 2 finishers from the week before. That downgrades it in my book. Plus it’s a 200 and short course meters. That’s not the race you have to beat Peaty in to get on a “top performances” IMO.

Yozhik
2 years ago

I’m very welcome the article like this. “It’s not about times, but points” notion is just the cover up of the very simple fact: ISL was looking for the niche where it won’t compete with FINA. They cannot expect swimmers to make this tournament the main event of the year and to peak for it. More over, even if some swimmers decide to do so being attracted by good money they cannot stay in this form for two months – the length of ISL season. As a result, if they go traditional way, ISL would be low performance boring competition of swimmers who are under hard training during in-season months. It would be a disaster because no way they could… Read more »

Sir Swimsalot
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

“It would be a disaster because no way they could attract attention of making competition between underperforming swimmers.”

The ISL meets have been extremely entertaining and have attracted lots of attention considering its something so young, so I fail to see our point.

Yozhik
Reply to  Sir Swimsalot
2 years ago

Yes they did. They were watched and not only because there were the interest only how actually it will go for the first time. But you missed my point. If there are no attempts to address the performance issues the interest in this business will slow down. It’s not like I’m possessing foreseeing abilities. It is 101 of any business management. There supposed to be individual challenge. Such is the nature of human being. The group competition can substitute it but only for a little while and only in the case when personal contribution to the win of the group will get awarded by the group earning. A lot of controversial points in current ISL design of personal motivation.
… Read more »

Inside Smoke
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

I feel as if you are putting too much focus on the “quality of the performances” for this format. The point of this league is to show racing between fast swimmers, not necessarily fast swimming itself. The fact of the matter is that the ISL seems to be targeting viewership from those that typically do not care about swimming outside of an Olympic year, not the die hard swim nerds that scan the results and splits from every single high level meet. The target audience doesn’t care about how fast the times are, how many casual viewers do you think have the frame of reference for a good short course meters 200 breast time? My guess would be very few,… Read more »

Yozhik
Reply to  Inside Smoke
2 years ago

Let’s see. But you made very interesting point that there are two groups of spectators: some who knows everything about swimming and those who knows nothing. You think that ISL format can attract spectators from the second group. Have no clue. Skin races can be of some interest to them. But skin races are the worst thing in this format that has nothing to do with swimming sprint competition. It is competition among sprinters of who die first. But in your view that is what wide public can understand and will like. Not sure that professional sport has to develop in this direction.

Yozhik
Reply to  Inside Smoke
2 years ago

Some analogy just came to my mind. The professional sport can develop different ways to provide athletes with earnings by attracting wider audience. For example, figure skating. The bright shows on ice is the way for athletes to make money. And who cares during these spectacles if it was a simple jump or it is a triple. The wide public won’t distinguish the complexity but the fan who understand how difficult or easy it is may not get satisfied and may not attend this show next time.

Blackflag82
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

The pro track and field circuit literally disproves everything you are writing re: quality of performance over racing. That is a circuit that is based on racing with occasional fast times mixed in, and that pro circuit thrives…

The fact that you keep harping on this “quality of performance” trope says more about your inability to reimagine the professional sport of swimming than anything else.

Yozhik
Reply to  Blackflag82
2 years ago

Hey I’m a spectator too. And same as you I vote directly or indirectly with my money. Let’s wish ISL to satisfy both your and my interest in swimming competition.

KickPullSwim
2 years ago

Surely Alexander Graham’s 2 free wins are more impressive? Also Guido’s backstroke (especially his 22.5 50) should’ve made the list I think

BairnOwl
Reply to  KickPullSwim
2 years ago

Yeah, Graham won those with better times.

Samesame
Reply to  BairnOwl
2 years ago

Yep. Pretty underrated is Graham

Bigswimdog
2 years ago

Nice list ! But you seem to be missing Jonathon Gomez’s 4:25.95 400IM

Coach Mike 1952
2 years ago

Great list