ISL Match 3, Day 1: Sarah Sjostrom’s ISL Record Puts Energy Standard in Charge

Sarah Sjostrom (photo: Mike Lewis)
Energy Standard's Sarah Sjostrom; Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis/ISL

ISL Match 3, Day 1: Sarah Sjostrom’s ISL Record Puts Energy Standard in Charge

The powers of Europe area assembled and ready to joust in ISL Match 3. The London Roar, which finished third in the 2020 ISL Final, is in the water for the first time in ISL Season 3, making its debut along with Team Iron.

They two European squads, though, got a chilly reception from the presiding power on the continent, Energy Standard, which won ISL Match 1 and finished second in the 2020 final. With a deep women’s squad led by the high-powered sprinting of Sarah Sjostrom, Energy is one of the teams to beat in the league. They proved it Thursday, ending Day 1 of ISL Match 3 with a commanding lead and control of both skins races on Friday.

The New York Breakers, who finished fourth in ISL Match 2, face the difficult turnaround to get ready for their second match, on two days fewer rest than Energy Standard has. The third-place points, between Iron and the Breakers, are vital for each team’s hopes of advancing to the semifinals and could prove to be the most scintillating team race of Day 2. Both London and Energy Standard will be eager to lay down a marker that indicates they can challenge the Cali Condors, which claimed ISL Match 2 in dominant fashion.

ISL Match 3 team standings (after Day 1)

  1. Energy Standard 341
  2. London Roar 214
  3. Team Iron 181.5
  4. NY Breakers 160.5

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Women’s 100 butterfly

Anastasiya Shkurdai got Energy Standard off to a fast start with a win in the 100 fly in 56.53 seconds, pulling ahead late. She was fifth at the turn in a field where .95 seconds separated the first six finishers. Marie Wattel got London on the board in second followed by New York’s Svetlana Chimrova.

Men’s 100 butterfly

Chad le Clos controlled the field and held off a late charge to get the win for Energy Standard in 49.75 seconds. London’s Vini Lanza was three-tenths back in second, while New York got points in third and fourth via Jakub Majerski and Matt Temple.

Women’s 200 backstroke

Minna Atherton set the ISL record in the 200 back in the inaugural season in 2019, but the Australian and many of her countrymen missed out on the 2020 season due to COVID-19 restrictions. Atherton is back and as good as ever, winning her return in 2:01.98. She was nearly three seconds ahead of teammate Kira Toussaint in 2:04.86, a 1-2 for London garnering 17 points. Mary-Sophie Harvey of Energy Standard was third.

Men’s 200 backstroke

Back-to-back London backstroke romps, courtesy of Luke Greenbank and Christian Diener. Greenbank hit the jackpot with 12 points thanks to a time of 1:50.15. Diener was second in 1:51.28. Team Iron had its best result of the young match with a 1:52.94 for third, while Energy Standard’s Kliment Kolesnikov was fourth as the squad shuffles the deck in ISL Match 3.

Women’s 200 breaststroke

Evgeniia Chikunova stepped up for Energy Standard to grab maximum points in 2:17.82, a sneaky fast swim that is just two seconds outside Lilly King’s league record. Annie Lazor surged to second for London in 2:20.19 with Jenna Strauch of Team Iron grabbing third-place points. Chikunova tallied 12 points via the jackpot. Bit a downer for the New York Breakers, with Abbie Wood and Molly Renshaw only mustering fourth and fifth, respectively.

Men’s 200 breaststroke

Erik Persson opened team Iron’s account on the season, using a stellar final 50 to get to the wall first in 2:04.66. Second was Ilya Shymanovich of Energy Standard, nearly rallying past Persson but coming up .12 short. Another letdown for the Breakers as Marco Koch slipped from first to third, six tenths back of the pace.

Women’s 400 free relay

Energy Standard goes to the jackpot for 30 huge points, plus keeping eight in fifth place to assert early control. The team of Siobhan Haughey, Maddy Banic, Fanny Teijonsalo and Sarah Sjostrom led wire to wire to win in 3:31.23, a margin of more than 2.5 seconds over the field. Lest Teijonsalo be overlooked, the Finnish swimmer split a 52.70, equal with Team Iron’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo for the second-fastest of the race.

The other three A squads were bunched within .18 seconds. Kira Toussaint rallied London from third (they were fifth after the first leg) to second in 3:33.75, .03 ahead of the New York Brakers. Kromowidjojo brought Team Iron home fourth.

Men’s 50 freestyle

Ben Proud joined the sub-21 contingent with a winning time of 20.86, a cut above the field to get the win. Team Iron won the event, though, with points for second and third courtesy of Marco Orsi (21.26) and Thom de Boer (21.32). Dylan Carter, new to the London Roar after swimming with the LA Current last year, was fourth.

Women’s 50 freestyle

Sarah Sjostrom delivered the kind of swim that has made her a legend of the sport. Sjostrom clocked in at 23.17 seconds, an ISL record that took down the time set by Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 2019 (23.29). It also buzzes the tower of the Dutchwoman’s world record at 22.93. Sjostrom was .63 seconds out ahead of the field in an utterly dominant performance.

It was just as dominant for Energy Standard, in an event that you can point to as Exhibit A if they end up winning ISL Match 3. Sjostrom nabbed 24 points via the jackpot. Second was Siobhan Haughey in 23.80, making it a 31-point return for the team. Only Kromowidjojo, in third in 24.04, kept her points for Team Iron.

Men’s 200 individual medley

Duncan Scott started his ISL season strong and didn’t look back over the final 100 meters of the men’s 200 IM, winning in 1:52.63. It’s a yield of 12 points for the Roar swimmer. Second was Team Iron’s Leonardo Santos in 1:53.55, with London’s Vini Lanza in third.

Women’s 200 individual medley

Abbie Wood gave the NY Breakers a massive and much-needed boost, winning the event in 2:05.98. That’s 2.05 seconds off the league record set by Yui Ohashi last season. Wood gleaned 19 points via the jackpot. Second was Energy Standard’s Mary-Sophie Harvey, the leaders continuing the quietly collect points. Team Iron’s Maria Ugolkova was third. A big absence for the Roar was Sydney Pickrem, who did not start the event, which lands a four-point deduction. Katie Shanahan salvaged five big points in fourth to limit the damage.

Men’s 50 breaststroke

Ilya Shymanovich is in tremendous form, and Energy Standard is rolling in points as a result. The Belarussian blitzed the field in 25.41 seconds, just .12 off the league record set by Emre Sakci last year, to get the win and reap 24 jackpot points. With teammate Felipe Lima in third (26.12), the Energy Standard boys denied the Adam Peaty-less London a sniff in the event. Second was Sakci, rescuing his seven points for Iron in 26.06.

Women’s 50 breaststroke

In a battle of generational speedster, Alia Atkinson showed she isn’t done just yet. Atkinson surged at the final moment to get the win and 15 jackpot points for London in 29.73 seconds. She bested Energy Standard’s Bendetta Pilato, the future of the event, by .07 seconds. Hanging tough was Team Iron’s Ida Hulkko in third in 29.98.

Men’s 400 free relay

It’s the first ever win for the New York Breakers in an ISL relay, dating all the way through the inaugural season. The Breakers’ foursome – Jacob Whittle, Stan Pijenberg, Jakub Kraska, Matt Temple – got quicker as the race went on, going from third with Whittle to first by Kraska’s handoff. New York got 30 points for their efforts, a huge boon in the race with Team Iron, which netted just eight from a fifth-place finish to pull into a third-place tie. Second was the London Roar (Katsumi Nakamura, Zac Incerti, Dylan Carter, Duncan Scott) in 3:07.62, with Energy Standard in third and fourth.

Women’s 50 backstroke

Kira Toussaint, the ISL record holder, stamped her dominance on her specialty event, winning it in 26.28 seconds. Second was Alicja Tchorz of the Breakers in 26.63 with Minna Atherton third in 26.76. All eight swimmers finished in 27.01 or faster.

Men’s 50 backstroke

London’s backstroke ability shined yet again behind Guilherme Guido, who won in 22.60, controlling the race start to finish and getting 15 points. Christian Diener added five points in fourth. Energy Standard was second via Kliment Kolesnikov.

Women’s 400 freestyle

Barbora Seemanova got the early early points, but Siobhan Haughey finished it late, getting the win in 4:02.59 for Energy Standard. Seemanova yielded 16 points in second in 4:03.22. Third was Energy’s Helena Rosendahl Bach in 4:05.97.

Men’s 400 freestyle

Brendon Smith set the early pace and stayed out front to get full points at the finish, with 15 points. His time was 3:40.41. Luiz Altimir Melo of Team Iron was second in 3:45.52. The big points came to Energy Standard, with Kregor Zirk gaining intermediate points for a total of 13 in third and Marco de Tullio fourth.

Women’s 400 medley relay

You can start the coronation in ISL Match 3: Energy Standard went 1-2 in the women’s medley relay, taking home 44 massive points. The A squad of Mary-Sophie Harvey, Evgenia Chikunova, Anastasiya Shkurdai and Sarah Sjostrom went 3:48.43, four seconds up on the B team (Georgia Davies, Benedetta Pilato, Maddy Banic, Fanny Teijonsalo).

Men’s 400 medley relay

More Energy dominance, though a more run of the mill variety this time. ES got the win in 3:24.05 via Kliment Kolesnikov, Ilya Shymanovich, Chad le Clos and Clement Mignon. Shymanovich put Energy Standard up for good, though Duncan Scott made it interesting with a 45.83 anchor leg for London to solidify second. The Breakers were third, Jakub Kraska rising them to third.

For the skins control, Energy Standard opted for freestyle on the women’s sides. After the second- and third-place teams eliminated events (the Breakers knocking out breast, Iron taking out back), ES got to pick its Sarah Sjostrom specialty. Given her outstanding performance in the 50 free, she’ll get another swing at the world record in the event after swimming an ISL record.

Energy Standard is going back to its le Clos-shaped wheelhouse in skins with butterfly, the South African having won it in ISL Match 1. The Breakers eliminated breast and London knocked out free, which gave le Clos the edge over Kolesnikov in backstroke.

After Day 1 of ISL Match 3, the team standings are

  1. Energy Standard 341
  2. London Roar 214
  3. Team Iron 181.5
  4. NY Breakers 160.5