ISL Semifinal 1, Day 1 Recap: Energy Standard, London Roar Locked in Duel

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Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu/ISL

The International Swimming League semifinals get underway Saturday with ISL Semifinal 1 from the Budapest bubble.

Reigning champion Energy Standard is out to defend its title, but it faces stiff competition. The London Roar are rested up after the regular season, while the Day 2 strength of Tokyo Frog Kings is not to be taken for granted, nor is the ability of the New York Breakers’ top-end speed and ability to play spoiler. The skins choice could go a long way to determining which of the two teams end up advancing to next week’s ISL 2020 final.

ISL Semifinal 1 Team Scores:

  1. Energy Standard 291
  2. London Roar 270
  3. Tokyo Frog Kings 208
  4. New York Breakers 114

ISL Semifinal 1 MVP Standings:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard 35
  2. Benedetta Pilato, Energy Standard 23.5
  3. Emily Seebohm, Energy Standard 22
  4. Duncan Scott, London 20.5
  5. Kirill Prigoda, London 20.5
  6. Florent Manaudou, Energy Standard 20
  7. Adam Peaty, London 20
  8. Femke Heemskerk, Energy Standard 18.5
  9. Kira Toussaint, London 18.5
  10. Chad le Clos, Energy Standard 18

Where to watch ISL Semifinal 1:

  • BeIn Sports
  • Belarus TV and Radio Company
  • BBC
  • CBS
  • CBC
  • Claro Sports
  • ESPN (Central America)
  • Eurosport
  • Eurosport India
  • M4
  • Match TV
  • Seven
  • Sky, Gazetta Dello Sport
  • Sport 1
  • Sportklub
  • TV Asahi
  • TV Globo

Women’s 100 Fly

In an event where Energy Standard holds the top three women’s times, Energy Standard made an early statement of intent with Sarah Sjostrom getting the win in 55.44. Energy got a 1-3 finish with Anastasiya Shkurdai third. London Roar’s Marie Wattel broke up the Energy blockade by finishing second. Tokyo’s Suzuka Hasegawa was fourth.

Men’s 100 Fly

Chad le Clos set a season-best time of 49.14, getting the win in the 100 fly and garnering an extra point from the jackpot to make it 2-for-2 for Energy. It’s his fourth win of the season in the event. Marius Kusch kept pace to finish second for the Roar, while Tokyo’s Takeshi Kawamoto was third.

Women’s 200 Back

Content to watch Kira Toussaint take the race out, Emily Seebohm bided her time and bombed the final 50, taking the win in 2:01.04, her fastest time of the season and just .05 shy of the best time this season in the league. With the jackpot, Seebohm netted 15 points.

Tokyo’s Natsumi Sakai and Rio Shirai finished second and third, respectively. Toussaint faded to fourth.

Men’s 200 Back

With six of the top 10 swimmers in the event this season in the pool, the ISL Semifinal 1 200 back was primed for a showcase. The attention was focused on the middle of the pool and Energy Standard’s duo taking the race out, but Tokyo’s Ryosuke Irie pushed over the final 75 meters to get the win in 1:49:04, finally breaking the Energy Standard blockade.

Second was Kliment Kolesnikov of Energy by .04, with teammate Evgeny Rylov .20 back of Irie. London Roar’s Luke Greenbank was fourth in 1:49.31, lowering his British record from last week (1:49.97).

With the points, Tokyo leapfrogged London into second place.

Women’s 200 Breast

The New York Breakers are on the board, with Molly Renshaw taking the race out and Emily Escobedo bringing it home. Escobedo got the win in 2:16.71, with Renshaw fading to third, but still big points for the Breakers. Sneaking in between the Breakers was Annie Lazor of London, notching big points in second with teammate Sydney Pickrem fourth.

Men’s 200 Breast

The first brush with a world record turned out to be anti-climax, with the holder of the mark not only not giving it up but also spoiling Marco Koch’s drive to win. Kirill Prigoda, whose world record of 2:00.11 was through to be in jeopardy by Koch, got the win in 2:01.20. Koch didn’t threaten the mark and was handed his first loss in the event this season, second in 2:01.31. Third was Tokyo’s Yasuhiro Kosecki.

With the points, London jumps from third to first place, ahead of Energy Standard.

Women’s 4×100 Free Relay

Siobhan Haughey set the pace for Energy Standard, with the leading 100 freestyler this season going out in 51.35. That set the Energy foursome of Haughey, Pernille Blume, Femke Heemskerk and Sarah Sjostrom the win in 3:25.82 by .82 over London Roar. The time is nearly three-quarters of a second faster than the world record set in 3:26.53 set in 2014 by the Netherlands. It’s the fastest time in ISL season 2 by more than a second and undercuts the ISL record Energy Standard set last year at 3:26.48.

It also triggered a huge jackpot for Energy, netting 48 points in the race – 38 for the winners and the B relay in fourth.

Second was London Roar (Anna Hopkin, Maria Kameneva, Marie Wattel, Freya Anderson) in 3:26.64. Tokyo was third.

Men’s 50 Free

Florent Manaudou was within reach of his season-best, winning the race for Energy Standard in 20.63 and adding a few bonus points. Tokyo picked up big points, with Vlad Morozov second and Kosuke Matsui third.

Women’s 50 Free

A rested Kasia Wasick couldn’t spoil the Sarah Sjostrom party in a matchup of the top two 50-freestylers this season. Sjostrom got to the wall first in 23.43 seconds, her fourth win in the event this season. Wasick was second for the Breakers .06 back. Femke Heemskerk was third for Energy.

London scored nine points with Maria Kameneva and Freya Anderson fourth and fifth, respectively. Tokyo’s two swimmers finished seventh and eighth, Sjostrom jackpotting their points.

Men’s 200 IM

Duncan Scott laid down the fastest time in the event this season, uncorking a 1:51.66 to get the win. It’s a personal best and a British record for Scott.

Tokyo’s Kosuke Hagino led for 175 meters before settling for second in 1:52.35. Andreas Vazaios took third for London, the jackpot giving the Roar 18 points in the event with Energy Standard shutout.

Women’s 200 IM

Yui Ohashi continued to announce her presence in her debut ISL season, winning the event in 2:03.93. It’s a Japanese record for Ohashi. It also downs the ISL record of Melanie Margalis (2:04.06).

Sydney Pickrem buzzed her Canadian record, falling .06 shy of it with a 2:04.40 to take second. Third was the Breakers’ Abbie Wood.

Men’s 50 Breast

A shaved and tapered Adam Peaty came good in his signature event, going 25.50 to get the victory for London. Ilya Shymanovich also had a season-best at 25.55 to take second for Energy Standard.  Third was London’s Kirill Prigoda.

Women’s 50 Breast

Benedetta Pilato threw down another personal-best, clocking in at 28.86 to get the win and snatch back momentum for Energy Standard. Her time is an Italian record and ties the ISL record/season-best time of Lilly King. To boot, she added 19 points via the jackpot in a huge score for Energy Standard.

Alia Atkinson was second for London, with Tokyo’s Reona Aoki third.

Men’s 4×100 Free Relay

Kliment Kolesnikov put Energy Standard in the lead for good in the third leg and Florent Manaudou delivered the win on the anchor, getting to the wall first in 3:05.72. Evgeny Rylov and Chad le Clos rounded out the foursome, and Standard’s B relay finished fourth.

Second was the Roar (Katsumi Nakamura, Mikhail Vekovishchev, Marius Kusch and Duncan Scott) were second. Tokyo finished third.

Women’s 50 Back

There it is: The first world record of the ISL season goes to Kira Toussaint, who clocked in at 25.60. It downs the six-year-old mark set by Etiene Medeiros (25.67). After three world records in the inaugural ISL season, it took until ISL Semifinal 1 for the first of the 2020 season.

Tokyo netted big points with Natsumi Sakai second and Simona Kubova third.

Men’s 50 Back

London’s sprint strength earned the Roar a jackpot in a 1-2 finish. Guilherme Guido got to the wall first in 22.89, with teammate Christian Diener .14 seconds behind. With the jackpot, Guido and Diener scored 19 points to get the Roar within 13 points of Energy Standard.

Third was Tokyo’s Takeshi Kawamoto with Matt Grevers of Energy fourth.

Women’s 400 Free

Leah Smith continues her dominance in the 400 free, going 5-for-5 for the Tokyo Frog Kings. The win in ISL Semifinal 1 came in a season-best time of 3:58.26. The anticipated race with Siobhan Haughey never materialized, Smith controlling the race early and beating the Energy Standard swimmer by 1.84 seconds. Third was the Breakers’ Boglarka Kapas.

Men’s 400 Free

Tom Dean pulled the surprise of the day for the London Roar, upsetting the dominant Danas Rapsys. He took control on the last 50, clocking in at 3:37.87, his fastest this season by more than four seconds. Rapsys was more than two seconds slower than the ISL record he set this season, going 3:38.08 for second. Brendon Smith of New York finished third.

Dean earns 12 points via the jackpot, including one from a teammate, to outscore Energy by a 12-10 margin in the event.

Women’s 4×100 Medley Relay

There’s no stopping the Energy Standard relay juggernaut. Emily Seebohm got Energy Standard into clean water, Benedetta Pilato grew the lead, a rested Madeline Banic kept the margin and Sarah Sjostrom finished it in 3:45.58, with three tenths of the world record. Energy Standard also finished third, yielding 30 points. Second was London Roar (Kira Toussaint, Alia Atkinson, Marie Wattel, Freya Anderson) in second.

The win gives Energy Standard control of skins. With the three fastest times in the 100 fly and Sjostrom able to swim fly or free, it’s likely Energy will play one of those cards. Pilatto is an option in breaststroke.

Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay

The Roar spoiled the Energy party in ISL Semifinal 1, leading wire-to-wire to get control of the men’s skins. Guilherme Guido put London out front, with Adam Peaty, Marius Kusch and Duncan Scott bringing home the win in 3:19.50. Scott withstood the anchor-leg charge by Florent Manaudou by .05, and Peaty laid down the fastest breaststroke split in history at 54.84.

Energy Standard (Kolesnikov, Shymanovich, le Clos, Manaudou) were second well ahead of Tokyo in third.