The Toronto Titans will have two of Canada’s most successful swimmers in history lead them during their debut season of the International Swimming League (ISL).
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Introducing your TEAM CAPTAINS for the 2020 Toronto Titans! 🤩💥 Team Captain: Olympic bronze medalist, world record breaker and two-time world champion @kyliemasse Vice-Captain: Olympic bronze medalist, world champion and the one of the fastest swimmers in Canadian history @thebrenthayden @iswimleague #torontotitans #ISL2020 #ISwimLeagueS02 #ISwimLeague #swimming #swimmers
The Titans are one of two new clubs in the ISL’s second season, joining the Tokyo Horned Frogs, marking the first two teams in the league that are not based out of Europe or the United States. While Tokyo has yet to announce its captains, the eight teams who competed last season made their captains public on Tuesday.
Teams are required to have captains under league rules, though exactly what the role entails is up to each individual club.
Masse, 24, was the Olympic bronze medalist at the 2016 Games in the women’s 100 backstroke, and has followed up by winning consecutive world titles in the event.
At the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, the University of Toronto swimmer broke the world record in the event in a time of 58.10. Though the record has been lowered since, with Masse currently ranked as the third-fastest swimmer ever, she successfully defended her title last summer in Gwangju in 58.60.
Also the 2018 Commonwealth and Pan Pacific champion in the women’s 100 back, Masse was the first signing in Titans history back in March, and proved in the ISL’s inaugural season that she can be a valuable contributor in this format.
Competing for the Cali Condors, who placed third in the league finale, Masse won the women’s 200 back at the ISL’s first two matches, and went on to finish with 102.0 total points to rank 15th among women for the season.
Hayden, 36, will make his ISL debut this year after announcing he was coming out of retirement in October of 2019, shortly after last season had already gotten underway.
The Maple Ridge, B.C., native was the 2007 world champion in the men’s 100 freestyle, and went on to win a bronze medal in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London before stepping away from the sport competitively for seven years.
Also the 2006 Pan Pac gold medalist in the 100 freestyle and the double gold medalist in the 50 and 100 free at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Hayden had shown promise in his comeback, which initially had the sole purpose of competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics, prior to things being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included an Olympic “A” time in the 50 free at the Des Moines Pro Series in early March (21.97).
While his primary focus has been on long course throughout his career, the three-time Olympian has shown an ability to perform in short course meters in the past. He currently ranks as the 11th-fastest swimmer of all-time in the men’s SCM 100 freestyle (45.56) and tied for fourth in the 200 free (1:40.80) – both swims from 2009.
The Titans will open their season October 24-25, facing off with the Aqua Centurions, LA Current and the Horned Frogs.