Naples, Italy, To Host First Phase Of ISL Season 3 In Five-Week Bubble From 26 August 2021

Cali Condors win ISL 2020 (photo: Mike Lewis)
Cali Condors with the ISL trophy; Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

Naples, Italy, will host the first five-week phase of ISL Season 3 to run from 26 August-30 September, the International Swimming League announced on Tuesday.

Ten clubs will compete at the Piscina Felice Scandone in Italy’s third-largest city in the south-west of the country in a strict safety-first set up similar to that of the ISL Season 2 bubble in Budapest in light of the COVID pandemic.

From there eight teams will qualify for the play-off phase to be held over three weeks in November and will compete for a place in the Grand Final which will take place at the end of December 2021 or early January 2022.

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

Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari/lapresse

The ISL is finalising its host city selection process for the second and third phases “following talks with iconic destinations in Asia, Europe and North America.”

The havoc wreaked by the pandemic across the world has already resulted in a congested schedule in 2021/22 with the Olympics due to run from 23 July – 8 August.

Abu Dhabi plays host to the World Short-Course Championships in December with Fukuoka, Japan,  staging the World Championships from May 13-29 2022.

Then come the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England (28 July-8 August), the European Championships at the Foro Italico in Rome (11-21 August) and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, running from 10-25 September.

ISL founder and president Konstantin Grigorishin said:

‘’Naples holds a special place in our hearts after such an incredible experience when the city hosted the second-ever ISL match in 2019, so I am very pleased that we are now heading back to this great Italian city.

“The Piscina Felice Scandone was full of passionate fans who created such a special atmosphere the first time around and I hope we can go some way to recreating this.

‘’ISL has partnered with some of the world’s most exciting cities in 2019 and 2020 including Budapest, Las Vegas, London, Washington DC, and also Naples the first time around, and now in 2021 our world-class swim talent will once again turn the global spotlight firmly on the city, with millions of fans around the world watching on television, digital platforms and social media.

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Konstantin Grigorishin: Photo Courtesy: shamil sakhavatov @1amsham

‘’Naples has already embraced our swimmers, and, in turn, our swimmers embraced the city, giving back and engaging in local community activities and immersing themselves in the culture in a natural way that generated extra media attention and brand awareness for the city.

“The ISL brings to a city engaging, entertaining sports content and a magical live experience, and in Season 3 we promise to bring sports fans even closer to their heroes in a way never been seen before in an elite swimming competition.

‘’I’m also happy to announce that ISL is in direct contact with the local and national aquatic institutions in order to identify all the necessary collaborative steps to capitalise on the event’s tremendous value.”

Domenico Fioravanti, who was recently announced as General Manager of the Italy-based Aqua Centurions and winner of the 100/200 breaststroke double at Sydney 2000, welcomed the Naples announcement, saying:

“It is fantastic news for Italian swimming and its fans, and also fantastic news for Aqua Centurions, who will be able to count on the incredible and knowledgeable support of our swimming community as we strive to make it to the playoffs.’’


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