Mykhailo Romanchuk Takes 800 Free Test Event in Thrilling Race Over Henrik Christiansen

Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Aqua Centurions and the Ukraine took the 800 freestyle test event in Budapest with a 7:25.73 that is a new European record, lowering Yannick Agnel’s 7:29.17 from 2012. Romanchuk now sits second all-time behind Grant Hackett at 7:23.42 from 2008.

The race was not scored, but a chance for the ISL to see how the 800 freestyle would look with its new scoring format. Romanchuk secured 30 points with the format while Christiansen, who finished second, received 17 points, while Auböck received 24 for his lead at the 100 and 400, even though he was third at the finish.

From the ISL:

Points are awarded on a sliding scale. At the 100m, 400m checkpoints, the first-placed swimmer gets 9 points, second receives 7 points, third placed 5 points, with 3 points awarded for fourth and 1 point for fifth.

At the 800m finish, points are awarded to all swimmers on a sliding scale from 9 points for the winner to 1 point for eighth.

The ISL has introduced jackpot times for each of the checkpoints, rewarding the quickest swimmers and penalizing the slowest.

  • If the swimmer is outside the jackpot times at 100m (2 seconds from the leader) and 400m (9 seconds from the leader), their points are awarded to the athlete passing those checkpoints in first place.
  • If the swimmer is outside the jackpot time at 800m (15 seconds from the leader), they lose ALL points earned from the three checkpoints, which are ‘stolen’ (redistributed) by those athletes inside the time.
  • And if the swimmer is outside the cutoff time for the men’s 800 freestyle (7:56.00), they receive a penalty of -1 from the total points they have accumulated from the three checkpoints.

Auböck darted to the lead at the 100 at 53.14 with American Zane Grothe, who swam for the DC Trident (53.52) and Christiansen (54.26) behind him. The Austrian, who competed with the New York Breakers, led the way at 400 at 3:42.42 with Romanchuk in second at 3:43.08 and Christiansen, who represented Iron last year but didn’t swim in ISL this year, in third at 3:43.65.

Race Results:

  1. 7:25.73, Mykhailo Romanchuk
  2. 7:25.78, Henrik Christiansen
  3. 7:31.89, Felix Auböck
  4. 7:36.68, Zane Grothe
  5. 7:43.81, Lander Hendrickx
  6. 7:49.34, David Aubry
  7. 7:51.36, Akos Kalmar

All-Time Rankings Men’s 800 Freestyle SCM:

  1. 7:23.42, Grant Hackett, AUS, 2008
  2. 7:25.73, Mykhailo Romanchuk, UKR, 2020
  3. 7:25.78, Henrik Christiansen, NOR, 2020
  4. 7:29.17, Yannick Agnel, FRA, 2012
  5. 7:30.31, Gregorio Paltrinieri, ITA, 2018

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