Konstantin Grigorishin Relishing The ‘Superheroes’ At The International Swimming League

Foto Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse 20 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USAsport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming LeagueNella foto: Trofeo Photo Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse December 20, 2019 Las Vegas - USAsport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League In the picture: trophy
International Swimming League - Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/lapresse

International Swimming League founder Konstantin Grigorishin believes the upcoming season will “create superheroes” as competition looms in Budapest, Hungary.

More than 300 swimmers will compete for 10 teams at the Duna Arena starting on Thursday 16 October and concluding with the Grand Final on 22 November.

Toronto Titans and Tokyo Frog Kings will join last season’s teams as Energy Standard seek to defend the crown they won in Las Vegas in December.

The coronavirus has cut a swathe through the world and Kristof Milak, Femke Heemskerk and Stefania Pirozzi have all announced positive tests in recent days.

In a press release issued by the ISL, Grigorishin said:

“To organise this competition was not easy. This is part of our job… we have to survive and do our best to organise competitions like this.

“Our job is to minimise the number of cases and create the best medical protocols to take care of swimmers and protect them from this infection, and the team is working hard on that.”

Foto Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse 21 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. Nella foto: il team Energy Standar vincitore del trofeo e della manifestazione Photo Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse December 21, 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League. In the picture: Energy Standard trophy victory

Energy Standard captain Chad Le Clos lifts the trophy – Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D’Alberto/LaPresse

Eight teams – with Toronto Titans and Tokyo Frog Kings arriving on 19 October – have already gathered in Budapest are in a Covid-secure bubble which encompasses training and competition venues and two official hotels.

The short-course programme sees four clubs taking part in matches spanning two days with the match featuring 39 races comprising 32 individual, five team relays and two skins –  back-to-back races which operate on a knockout basis, with the two remaining swimmers racing each other in a head-to-head final.

New innovations include the introduction of the 100IM for men and women, the winners of the medley relays choosing the stroke for the skins and the new jackpot time rule.

Jackpot times are determined in advance: for instance, 1.35secs in the men’s 100 free. If the winner touches in 45secs, all those who are slower than 46.35 forfeit their points to the swimmer who stopped the clock first.

Thereotically, that means an athlete can earn the full 37 points for their team should they finish the given margin ahead of the entire field. It also applies to relays and skins.


Konstantin Grigorishin: Photo Courtesy: shamil sakhavatov @1amsham

Grigorishin points to the latter rule, saying:

“It’s really hard but if somebody will do this, they will be a superhero.

“To create superheroes, you have to emphasise the superiority. It’s not just about timing, it’s about being the first with a solid advantage.

“This is a way to create superheroes.”

Of the format, he added:

“(It is designed) to make the competition even more intense, more unpredictable with more intrigue and excitement.”

Energy Standard will once again be strong while London Roar have been hit by the withdrawal of their Australian contingent including Cate and Bronte Campbell, Kyle Chalmers and Minna Atherton.

Grigorishin said:

“The beauty of sport is unpredictability and intrigue.

I think the ISL format gives a lot of unpredictability. It’s team strategy, it’s luck, it’s psychology. You can lose all the races but win the match.

“This is a strategic game. Energy Standard have a very strong team but one or two mistakes, or maybe some bad luck, and you lose. Or maybe opponents will have a better strategy… because each team has a lot of good swimmers.”

How will Grigorishin measure the success of season two?

“It’s a success if we create a great competition. It depends on the swimmers and production. I am really confident we will do our best and the show will be very good.”


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