Caeleb Dressel Returns for ISL Final to Swim 100 Fly and Relays, No 50 Free; Kira Toussaint Out for London (Start Lists)

Caeleb Dressel (photo: Mike Lewis)
Caeleb Dressel -- Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

Caeleb Dressel Returns for ISL Final to Swim 100 Fly and Relays, No 50 Free; Kira Toussaint Out for London (Start Lists)

The third season of the International Swimming League (ISL) is about to conclude with the ISL final, featuring the top four clubs from the playoffs — and the same four clubs as the previous two ISL finals. The London Roar will swim out of lanes one and two in the final, the 2020 league-champion Cali Condors will be in lanes three and four, Energy Standard will have lanes five and six as they seek to regain the title they won in 2019, and LA Current hold lanes seven and eight.

The big news from the start lists for day one is that Cali Condors superstar Caeleb Dressel is back in the lineup. Dressel will race in the 100 butterfly and on Cali’s 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays, but he will not compete in the 50 freestyle. Dressel won the 100 fly, 50 free, 100 free, 100 IM and 50 fly at last year’s final, setting world records in three of those events, but he is swimming a reduced schedule, at least on day one. Justin Ress and Jesse Puts will swim for Cali in place of the world-record holder in the 50 free.

Cali will also have Lilly King in the breaststroke events, Kelsi Dahlia in the 100 fly and Beata Nelson in the 200 back and 200 IM. The team of Nelson, King, Dahlia and Erika Brown will race the 400 medley relay, with Nelson replacing Olivia Smoliga from the group that won last year’s final in world-record time.

In another big surprise, London Roar’s Kira Toussaint, the world-record holder in the 50 back and one of the top sprint backstrokers all season, will be missing the final for unknown reasons. London will still have a formidable lineup, led by stars Emma McKeon (100 fly, 50 free and relays), Kyle Chalmers (50 free and relays) and Duncan Scott (200 IM and 400 free), but missing Toussaint is a big setback for the Roar to overcome in their longshot title hopes.

Energy Standard will have star Sarah Sjostrom in the 100 fly and 50 free, in which she will be a threat to break the world record, and Siobhan Haughey will be in the 50 breast before she takes on the 400 free. Both will contribute to lights-out Energy Standard relays. Energy Standard also has Ilya Shymanovich as the favorite in both breaststroke events and Chad le Clos swimming the 100 fly and relays.

LA Current’s Ryan Murphy will race from lane eight in the 200 back and in the 50 back, and in both races, he will face off against Evgeny Rylov, who beat out Murphy for Olympic gold in both backstroke events, and 100 back (SCM) world-record holder Coleman Stewart.

Check out the full start list here.