Lithuania’s short course World champ Danas Rapsys is the latest name to withdraw from the upcoming International Swimming League (ISL) season.
Rapsys, who won last year’s short course world title in the 400 free, was of the headliners for the ISL’s Energy Standard team, and is the second swimmer to leave the team in the last week after World Championship silver medalist Andrei Minakov. With the ISL taking place all in short course meters, a swimmer with Rapsys’ short course pedigree (he also won World Champs silver in the 200 free and has been a short course European Champ as well) would have a high impact.
Lithuania’s 15min news organization reports that Rapsys has withdrawn from the competition, citing a busy schedule and the financial benefits of focusing on the World Cup. Rapsys is currently running third in World Cup points, which would put him in line for a $50,000+ bonus at the end of the series and likely six-figure earnings on the series as a whole.
“Plans changed,” Rapsys said in the 15min story. “We will no longer enter the ISL competition. It was a hasty decision, perhaps not made at the opportune time, but we will go to all stages of the World Cup.”
“If we take the numbers, it was not difficult to make the decision,” Rapsys said in a rough translation of the original Lithuanian, “but morally more complicated, because teams have already been formed.”
In the 15min story, Rapsys also mentions his need to focus on long course meters leading up to the 2020 Olympic year. The World Cup is taking place entirely in long course meters, while the ISL will be in short course meters. The travel schedule between the World Cup and ISL would have kept Rapsys very busy, and he said his main focus is on preparing for the Short Course European Championships in December and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
You can see the remaining members of the Energy Standard Club (and the seven other ISL clubs) here. The ISL season begins on October 5-6 in Indianapolis. The FINA World Cup resumes on October 4-6 in Budapest, Hungary.