ISL Match 8: Ilya Shymanovich, Sarah Sjostrom, Siobhan Haughey Help Energy Standard Hold Off London Roar

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Ilya Shymanovich's jackpot win in the 100 breaststroke was critical in Energy Standard's Match #8 victory -- Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

ISL Match 8: Ilya Shymanovich, Sarah Sjostrom, Siobhan Haughey Help Energy Standard Hold Off London Roar

Heading into the second day of the ISL regular season’s eighth match, Energy Standard held a narrow lead over the London Roar as two of the top teams in the ISL faced off. The meet has been tight throughout, and London took over the narrow lead after Alia Atkinson’s win in the women’s 100 breaststroke, only for Energy Standard to come right back with Ilya Shymanovich’s jackpot win in the men’s 100 breast. After previously winning the 200 breast and 50 breast, Shymanovich finished just three tenths off his own world record in the 100 breast, and he secured match MVP honors.

The Roar opened the day with Australian stars Emma McKeon and Kyle Chalmers each claiming wins in the 100 freestyle, and later on, Guilherme Guido won the 100 back and Duncan Scott claimed wins in the 100 IM and 200 free before placing second in the 400 IM. But Energy Standard was consistently good in every events, picking up victories from Shymanovich, Sarah Sjostrom (50 fly), Siobhan Haughey (200 free) and the mixed 400 medley relay, and Energy also earned plenty of second and third-place finishes.

Meanwhile, the Tokyo Frog Kings and LA Current were locked in a tight battle for third place entering the day, and they continued that early in Sunday’s program. LA was competing without the versatile Madi Wilson, who is missing the match after testing positive for COVID-19 (despite being vaccinated) and being hospitalized.

For Tokyo, Daiya Seto was the top overall swimmer of the day as he pulled away from the field to win the 200 fly and then dominated the 400 IM to move the Frog Kings into third place going into skins, but then Ingrid Wilm won the women’s backstroke skins for the LA Current after sweeping the three previous backstroke events over the course of the meet. And to conclude the meet, LA’s Tom Shields scored the win in men’s butterfly skins to clinch third place for the Current.

The entire ISL regular season is taking place in Naples, Italy, and two more regular season matches remain, both scheduled for next week. The top six teams automatically qualify for the postseason before the seventh through tenth-ranked teams will compete in a play-in match for the last two postseason spots.

Final Team Scores:

  • Energy Standard 510
  • London Roar 486.5
  • LA Current 395.5
  • Tokyo Frog Kings 379

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Women’s 100 Freestyle

In a showdown among some of the best sprinters in the world, the Olympic gold medalist earned a tight victory in the women’s 100 free. London Roar’s Emma McKeon was in third place at the halfway point, trailing Energy Standard’s Siobhan Haughey and LA Current’s Abbey Weitzeil, but she came through on the back end to finish in 51.05. That was the top time in the ISL this season by McKeon and just 0.11 off Haughey’s league record of 50.94. Haughey ended up second, just 0.13 behind in 51.18.

Energy Standard’s Sarah Sjostrom, the long course world-record holder in the 100 free who returned to Naples this week after initially withdrawing from the remaining portion of the regular season, placed third in 51.65, while Weitzeil, who broke the American record in winning the 50 freestyle Saturday, was fourth in 51.75.

Men’s 100 Freestyle

London Roar’s Kyle Chalmers made his ISL debut in Match #6 but is racing individual events for the first time in Match #8. His 50 free win Saturday was his first solo win this season after previously contributing to some impressive relay triumphs, and it was no surprise to see him absolutely dominate the 100 free. The 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the event and 2021 Olympic silver medalist (behind Caeleb Dressel) was first by four tenths at the 50-meter mark and ended up winning by seven tenths.

Chalmers swam a 45.65, just off Dressel’s 45.47 from Match #4 as the quickest time this season. Dressel has been tracking the world record in the event, Amaury Leveaux’s 44.94 from 2008, and that record will definitely be in jeopardy when Chalmers and Dressel go head-to-head at some point later on this ISL season, particularly in January’s ISL final.

Tokyo Frog Kings’ Nemeth Nandor placed second with a swift time of 46.36, with LA Current’s Maxime Rooney taking third in 46.67. Pedro Spajari, who was tied for second with Rooney halfway through, ended up fourth in 46.82.

Women’s 200 Butterfly

No swimmers competing in the women’s 200 butterfly had won an event all season in the ISL, and it turned out to be Tokyo Frog Kings’ Keanna MacInnes, a native of Great Britain, who emerged triumphant. LA Current’s Anna Ntountounaki held the lead early before Tokyo’s Leah Gingrich surged on the third 50, but MacInnes blasted a 32.32 split on the last 50, giving her just enough to pull ahead of London Roar’s Ilaria Bianchi and Gingrich.

MacInnes swam a 2:06.73, just 0.06 ahead of Bianchi (2:06.79), and Gingrich was just 0.08 further back in 2:06.87. Energy Standard’s Helena Rosendahl Bach was close to the top three with her fourth-place time of 2:07.09.

Men’s 200 Butterfly

A showdown between Chad le ClosTom Shields and Daiya Seto in the men’s 200 fly lived up to expectations, and the race unfolded as expected. Energy Standard’s Le Clos was the early leader, using the early speed he shows so often, and he was a half-second up on the field at the 100-meter mark. LA Current’s Shields, who has some of the strongest underwater dolphin kicks in the world, moved ahead on the third 50, but Shields then faded coming home while Tokyo Frog Kings’ Seto, the world-record holder in the short course 200 fly, came home in 27.95 to win by almost a second.

Seto threw down a time of 1:49.41, the fastest time of this ISL season by a full eight tenths. He held the previous top time at 1:50.28 from last week’s Match #6. Shields took second in 1:50.39, which is the best effort by anyone this season besides Seto. LA Current’s Tomoe Hvas was third in 1:50.62, while le Clos and London’s Teppei Morimoto tied for fourth in 1:51.06.

Women’s 100 Backstroke

LA Current’s Ingrid Wilm has been the dominant backstroke swimmer of this match as she won the 100 back after previous victories in the 200 back and 50 back, and her 100 back ended up as the top performance so far this ISL season. Wilm won the race by a half-second, and she swam a time of 55.61, clipping the top time this season of 55.68 that Wilm swam in Match #5.

London’s Kira Toussaint, who has won the 100 back twice this season, placed second in 56.11, and Energy Standard’s Anastasiya Shkurdai took third in 57.16.

Men’s 100 Backstroke

London Roar’s Guilherme Guido is one of two swimmers to break 49 this season in the 100 back after he recorded a 48.95 in Match #3. Here, he earned his third win of the season in the event in three tries. Going head-to-head with Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Rylov, Guido narrowly held off his Russian rival, 49.39 to 49.58. London’s Christian Diener was the only other swimmer to crack 50 seconds as he touched third in 49.97.

Women’s 100 IM

Energy Standard’s Mary-Sophie Harvey placed in the top three in three individual events (plus one relay) in Saturday’s action, and she was victorious in the 200 IM, but she ended up finishing just behind LA Current’s Anastasia Gorbenko after Gorbenko surged ahead on the breaststroke. Gorbenko swam a time of 58.13, two tenths ahead of Harvey in 58.36. Cali Condors’ Beata Nelson is the only swimmer to put up a quicker time than Gorbenko this season.

Tokyo’s Chihiro Igarashi placed third in 58.78, just 0.03 ahead of a fourth-place tie between Energy’s Fanny Teijonsalo and London’s Sydney Pickrem in 58.81.

Men’s 100 IM

London Roar’s Duncan Scott will be competing in the 200 freestyle and 400 IM later on, but first, he took care of business in the 100 IM. LA Current’s Ryan Held held the lead at the halfway point before Tokyo Frog Kings’ Vladimir Morozov pulled ahead on the breaststroke, leaving Scott to run him down with an awesome freestyle leg. Scott touched in 52.13, 0.18 ahead of Morozov in 52.31. LA Current’s Javier Acevedo came in third at 52.62, ahead of Energy Standard’s Andrey Zhilkin (52.99) and Held (53.36).

Women’s 100 Breaststroke

Alia Atkinson, the co-world-record holder in the women’s 100 breast, dominated this event for the London Roar and teammate Annie Lazor placed third as London jumped into the lead for the first time Sunday. Atkinson blasted away from the field on her way to a 1:03.93, winning by seven tenths and joining Lilly King the only other swimmers to break 1:04 this season.

Tokyo Frog Kings’ Kanako Watanabe placed second in 1:04.70, followed by Lazor in 1:05.11. Energy Standard’s Evgeniia Chikunova just missed out on key points as she took fourth in 1:05.14, 0.03 behind Lazor.

Men’s 100 Breaststroke

One event after London took the lead, Energy Standard grabbed it right back with a huge jackpot win in the 100 breast. The world-record holder at 55.34, Shymanovich was just three tenths off that time as he came in 55.63, the top time this season in the ISL, and he is the only man to break 56 in 2021. Shymanovich jackpotted four swimmers, including both London Roar swimmers, to put up 19 points by himself. Combined with Felipe Lima’s third-place points for Energy Standard, that moved Energy from two points down to London to 23 points ahead.

Tokyo Frog Kings’ Yasuhiro Koseki took second in 56.78, and Lima grabbed third in 56.93, just ahead of Tokyo’s Alessandro Pinzuti (57.03).

Women’s 50 Butterfly

Less than an hour after competing in the 100 free, Sarah SjostromEmma McKeon and Abbey Weitzeil were all back in the racing pool for the 50 fly, and this was an exceptionally tight finish. Sjostrom got to the wall 0.08 ahead of McKeon, giving Energy Standard a second straight event victory after not winning any races up to that point. Sjostrom swam a 25.16, followed closely by McKeon in 25.24.

Weitzeil was only a tenth back in third place at 25.35, 0.01 ahead of Energy Standard’s Maddy Banic (25.36). LA Current’s Beryl Gastadello also swam fast as she placed fifth in 25.50.

Men’s 50 Butterfly

In an extremely tight finish, LA Current’s Dylan Carter earned his first victory in the ISL this season in the two-lap fly race. He beat out London Roar’s Ben Proud by 0.07, 22.40 to 22.47. Close behind was Tokyo Frog Kings’ Takeshi Kawamoto finished third in 22.59, with a three swimmers close behind: LA Current teammates Tom Shields (22.71) and Maxime Rooney (22.80) and Energy Standard’s Chad le Clos (22.93).

Women’s 200 Freestyle

Energy Standard is rolling along now as Siobhan Haughey unsurprisingly dominated the 200 free. She was second earlier in the day in the 100 free, but she had no peer in the eight-length event after capturing the silver medal in the long course version of the event at the Tokyo Olympics. Haughey was out fast and pulled away, and she finished in 1:52.50. She is the only swimmer to break 1:53 so far this year, and that time was her best so far in Naples.

Tokyo Frog Kings’ Paige Madden, who was previously second in Saturday’s 400 free, took second in 1:55.07, and London’s Andi Murez edged out LA Current’s Valentine Dumont for third, 1:55.71 to 1:55.83.

Men’s 200 Freestyle

London Roar’s Duncan Scott is two-for-two in his individual events so far Sunday. He will have trouble keeping pace in the 400 IM coming up, but no one was beating him in the 200 free. The Olympic silver medalist in the long course version of the event at the Tokyo Olympics, Scott trailed LA Current’s Fernando Scheffer early on but quickly moved ahead, and then he held off the Current’s Martin Malyutin by six tenths on the last 50.

Scott touched in 1:42.13, moving ahead of DC Trident’s Aleksandr Shchegolev as the quickest swimmer in the ISL this season. The LA Current went 2-3 with Malyutin (1:42.74) and Scheffer (1:43.21), while Energy Standard’s two swimmers ended up seventh and eighth. This was not enough of an advantage for the Roar to help London regain the lead, but the meet is tightening with only a handful of events to go.

Mixed 400 Medley Relay

The London Roar punches, and Energy Standard punches back. This time, London was rolling out a superstar relay of Guilherme GuidoAlia AtkinsonEmma McKeon and Kyle Chalmers, but Energy Standard was just too good here. The group of Evgeny Rylov (49.52), Ilya Shymanovich (55.39), Anastasiya Skurdai (55.85) and Sarah Sjostrom (51.20) combined to swim a 3:31.96. Sjostrom dove in with an eight-second advantage over Chalmers, and that was more than enough to hold off the charing Aussie.

For London, Guido had the quickest backstroke split of 49.31, and Chalmers came home in 45.71, but the group still ended up second in 3:34.53. Energy’s B-team of Kliment KolesnikovFelipe LimaMaddy Banic and Femke Heemskerk took third in 3:36.36, with Heemskerk swimming the quickest anchor leg (51.16).

London’s B-team was fourth in 3:38.40, while both teams from LA Current and the Tokyo Frog Kings were jackpotted. That gave Energy 50 total points (38 for the first group including jackpot points), compared to just 24 for London. Thus, Energy Standard opened up a 44-point lead entering the last events, the 400 IM and skins.

Women’s 400 IM

Once again, London Roar came back. The Roar got a surprise victory from Katie Shanahan in the 400 IM. Shanahan and LA Current’s Sara Franceschi pulled ahead on breaststroke, and Shanahan edged ahead on freestyle to win by a half-second. Shanahan clocked in at 4:31.83, followed by Franceschi in 4:32.38. That denied Olympic gold medalist Yui Ohashi a top-three finish as the London Roar star came in third at 4:33.74.

Energy Standard had to settle for fourth (Viktoriya Gunes) and sixth (Helena Bach Rosendahl) here, while Tokyo’s Paige Madden was fifth after touching first at the halfway point (following butterfly and backstroke) to earn maximum checkpoint points.

Men’s 400 IM

Daiya Seto has posted two incredible swims today, from his sub-1:50 effort in the men’s 200 fly to his dominant win in the 400 IM. Seto crushed the field early and never gave anyone a chance to get back into the race. Duncan Scott came on hard on freestyle, but he could only manage to finish 4.55 seconds behind. Seto came in at 4:00.06, about a second slower than his top time this season but impressive for the world-record holder nonetheless.

Scott, who won his first two events of the day (100 IM and 200 free) before this IM, finished second in 4:04.61, and LA Current’s Tomoe Hvas finished third in 4:05.75.

Meanwhile, London’s Luke Greenbank placed fourth in 4:06.58 after touching second at halfway, so London ended up with 16 points here. Energy scored only four, so London is down just 25 points entering the critical skins events. Meanwhile, Tokyo scored 27 points compared to just six for LA, moving the Frog Kings into third place ahead of the Current.

Women’s 50 Backstroke Skins

London Roar’s Kira Toussaint got off to a quick start in skins when she won round one in 25.73 and jackpotting three swimmers. Behind Toussaint, LA Current’s Ingrid Wilm (26.39), Energy Standard’s Mary-Sophie Harvey (26.41) and Tokyo Frog Kings’ Catie DeLoof (26.67) all advanced to the second round.

But in round two, Wilm pulled ahead of the field to continue an impressive weekend of backstroke racing, touching in 26.68, while Harvey touched out Toussaint for second by 0.07 (27.37 to 27.44) to potentially end any chance of a London comeback win in this match.

WIlm then beat Harvey in the final by more than two seconds, 26.92 to 28.94, earning a jackpot by a wide margin and claiming all 21. That was enough to move LA back into third place ahead of Tokyo, even after Seto led that impressive Frog Kings’ effort in the men’s 400 IM.

Men’s 50 Butterfly Skins

Just as in the women’s skins, one swimmer from each team advanced to the second round, limiting teams’ chances of making big moves in the competition. Tokyo Frog Kings’ Takeshi Kawamoto claimed first in 22.53, followed by London Roar’s Dylan Carter (22.55), LA Current’s Tom Shields (22.55) and Energy Standard’s Ben Proud (22.74). Energy’s Chad le Clos was locked out by just 0.04 as he finished fifth in 22.78.

In round two, Shields placed first in 23.03, and Kawamoto was second. That locked out both London Roar and Energy Standard and secured the Match #8 win for Energy.

In the final, Shields knocked off Kawamoto again, 23.46 to 23.89, and that secured a third-place finish in the match for LA Current. It was not an easy effort following impressive efforts from the Frog Kings and the adversity of Madi Wilson’s positive COVID test, but the Current team is now finished for the regular season with a spot in the ISL playoffs in Eindhoven secured.

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