Sjostrom & Manaudou Power Energy To Strong Lead After 1st Day Of International Swimming League

The Indiana University Natatorium (IUPUI) gets set for action - Photo Courtesy: ISL ISLINDY
The Indiana University Natatorium (IUPUI) gets set for action - Photo Courtesy: ISL

International Swimming League Debut

The League is live. The Indiana University Natatorium (IUPUI), Indianapolis, something like three quarters of all current Olympic and World Champions, led by official ISL ambassadors Nathan Adrian, Cate Campbell, Caeleb Dressel, Katinka Hosszu, Katie Ledecky, Florent Manaudou, Ryan Murphy, Adam Peaty, Federica Pellegrini and Sarah Sjostrom, are celebrating the birth of the International Swimming League with some fast swimming.

Points are simple enough: 9 for the win, 7 for second, descending through 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 for eighth and last home.

By the close of play on day 1, Energy Standard had built a strong lead of 250 points over 229.5 for Cali Condors; DC Trident and Aqua Centurions, in a tight match of their own, ended with 165 and 163.5 respectively.

The flow and main points:

  • After the first 10-min break in the 2-hour made-for TV show, the Cali Condors held a lead at 86 points,Energy right behind with 83, a gap opened up to DC Trident, 64, and Aqua Centurions, on 60. 
  • At the second break in the session, Energy Standard held a slight lead over Cali Condors, 195 to 189.5, with DC Trident and Aqua Centurions battling for third, on respective points of 142, 134.5
  • Cali Condors had the edge in the women’s match, on 129 over Energy’s 106
  • Energy dominated the men;’s match, on 144 points, Aqua Centurions closest on 119.5, the team’s women lagging behind the competition on 44 points and with work to do on day 2.
  • Sarah Sjostrom (Energy), a string of wins and only wins to her name, tops the women’s leaderboard after day 1, with 22.5 ranking points, which add up to money prizes for individual athletes
  • Florent Manaudou (Energy), a strong comeback 50m free under his belt, tops the men’s leaderboard on 18.54, just half a point ahead of teammate Chad Le Clos after the first day.
  • The swims of the day came from: Sjostrom in the 100m butterfly (55.65) and 50m freestyle (23.58); Manaudou in the 50m freestyle (20.77); Le Clos in the 100 ‘fly (49.65); Siobhan Haughey in the 200m freestyle (1:52.88) and, in the 50m breaststroke, Lilly King and Molly Hannis, on 29.23 and 29.56 respectively.

Sarah Sjostrom’s take on the day:

Flo-Mo’s Return:

Day 1 Winners:

  • Women’s 100 Butterfly – Sarah Sjöström, Energy Standard – 55.65

  • Men’s 100 Butterfly – Chad Le Clos, Energy Standard – 49.65

  • Women’s 50 Breaststroke – Lilly King, Cali Condors – 29.23

  • Men’s 50 Breaststroke – Nicolo Martinenghi, Aqua Centurions – 26.03

  • Women’s 400 Individual Medley – Melanie Margalis, Cali Condors – 4:25.77

  • Men’s 400 Individual Medley – Jay Litherland, DC Trident – 4:06.92

  • Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay – Energy Standard (Oleksiak, Sjöström, Sanchez, Heemskerk) – 3:28.63

  • Men’s 200 Backstroke – Evgeny Rylov, Energy Standard – 1:49.68

  • Women’s 200 Backstroke – Kylie Masse, Cali Condors – 2:01.89

  • Men’s 50 Freestyle – Florent Manaudou, Energy Standard – 20.77

  • Women’s 50 Freestyle – Sarah Sjöström, Energy Standard – 23.58

  • Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay – Energy Standard (Kolesnikov, Shymanovich, Le Clos, Bilis) – 3:23.11

  • Women’s 200 Freestyle – Siobhan Haughey, DC Trident – 1:52.88 (Hong Kong record)

  • Men’s 200 Freestyle – Breno Correia, Aqua Centurions – 1:44.21

  • Women’s 50 Backstroke – Olivia Smoliga, Cali Condors – 26.41

  • Men’s 50 Backstroke – Kliment Kolesnikov, Energy Standard – 23.29

  • Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Lilly King, Cali Condors – 2:18.25

  • Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Anton Chupkov, Energy Standard – 2:04.03

  • Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay – Energy Standard (Shevtsov, Manaudou, Le Clos, Girev), 3:08.77

Potted race reports and videos below the points and prize money…

THE POINTS after Day 1






  • Energy Standard





  •  Cali Condors





  • DC Trident





  •  Aqua Centurions





The idea was sort of Duel in the Pool meets NCAA after an Olympic training camp x many, with super troupers trained on a Who’s Who of speed in the pool – as a TV event. More on that later.


Prize money will be calculated at the end of the meet.







2 SMOLIGA Olivia



3 KING Lilly









6 MASSE Kylie



7 HAUGHEY Siobhan



8 MARGALIS Melanie






10 DAHLIA Kelsi






1.MANAUDOU Florent



2 le CLOS Chad









5 LARKIN Mitch









8 RYLOV Evgeny



8 FINK Nic






The ACTION  – ISL Day 1 – Indianapolis – potted reports


ISL: Women’s 100 Butterfly

Women’s 100m butterfly

Olympic champion Sarah Sjostrom got the action off to a fast start with a 55.65 (26.30 at the turn) top-points effort ahead of Kelsi Dahlia, (CAC), on 55.88, and Brianna Throssell (DCT) on 56.81, with Elena Di Liddo (AQC) on 57.71. In 2016, Sjostrom became the first Swedish woman to claim Olympic gold in the pool. Now she is the first ever winner of a global Pro-Team race.

Men’s 100m butterfly 

Olympic silver medallist of 20-12 and 2016, Chad Le Clos added to Energy’s cheer with a 49.65 triumph over Aqua Centurion teammates Matteo Rivolta, 50.65, and Santo Condorelli, 51.07, with Giles Smith, 51.57 fourth for Energy. That meant the lion’s share of points for the Turkey-based squad: 14.

Women’s 50m breaststroke

Olympic champion Lilly King and Molly Hannis gave Cali Condors a 1-2, King on 29.23, Hannis on 29.56. Imogen Clark, for Energy, and DC Trident’s Leiston Pickett followed in 29.77 and 29.96 respectively.
A maximum 16 points for Manager Jason Lezak’s Cali Condors.
King was having fun:

Men’s 50m breaststroke

It was another 1-2 but this time for the Aqua Centurions, Nicolo Martinenghi at the helm on 26.03 ahead of Fabio Scozolli, Ilya Shymanovich completing the top 3.
The fast-moving nature off the meet and lack of results makes for difficult coverage – more on that and how the show is coming across on TV later.

Women’s 400m medley

For Cali Caondors, Melanie Margalis took the win in 4:25.77, chased down on freestyle by Katie Ledecky (DCT) on 4:27.18), Mary-Sophie Harvey (ENS) on 4:31.08 and Hali Flickinger (CAC) on 4:33.24.

Ledecky had more to come and will race the 400m free tomorrow after the 400IM and the 200m free today:

Men’s 400m medley

Jay Litherland, for DC Trident, kept Mark Szaranek (CAC) at bay 4:06.92 to 4:08.45, with Philip Heintz (AQC) on 4:09.56, Anton Ipsen (CAC) next home, in 4:10.75.

Women’s 4x100m freestyle

Energy’s Penny Oleksiak, in third the last of her crew not to be at the helm at any stage in the race, Sarah Sjostrom, Kayla Sanchez and Femke Heemskerk clocked 3:28.63 to fend off the Cali Condors, 3:29.62, and DC Trident, on 3:32.52.

Women’s 200m backstroke

World 100m champion Kylie Masse, for Cali Condors,took the win on 2:01.89, Lisa Bretton (DCT) close on 2:02.66 ahead of Margherita Panziera (AQC), on 2:04.03, and Emily Seebohm (ENS) on 2:04.36.
Here’ what Kylie Masse had to say:

Men’s 200m backstroke

World champion Evgeny Rylov, for Energy, took the win in 1:49.68, former World champion and Olympic silver medallist Mitch Larkin (CAC) on 1:49.92, Travis Mahoney (AQC) and Radoslaw Kawecki (CAC) on 1:52.06 and 1:53.13 respectively.

Mitch Larkin’s thoughts on the day:

Men’s 50m freestyle

The comeback of Florent Manaudou was spectacular: 20.77, a dominant win, his Energy teammate Ben Proud closest, for another 1-2 maximum points. Next home in a blanket finish were Justin Ress (CAC) and Santo Condorelli (AQC) on 21.68 and 21.69.

Women’s 50m Freestyle

Sarah Sjostrom was back for her third win of the session, on 23.58, Cali teammates Kasia Wasick and Olivia Smoliga on 24.07 and 24.10 respectively, Femke Heemskerk ensuring Energy topped the team points with fourth place on 24.19.

Men’s 4x100m medley

Energy made it two for two after the women’s relay victory, Kliment Kolesnikov, Ilya Shymanovich, Chad Le Clos and Simonas Bilis dominating the medley relay in 3:23.11. Cali Condors took a clear second in 3:26.91, with Aqua Centurions on 3:28.10.

Women’s 200m freestyle

Siobhan Haughey, the Hong Kong star racing for Energy, will forever be able to boast that she once (at least) beat Katie Ledecky in a 200m free race: 1:52.88 to a stroke away on 1:53.48. Ariarne Titmus, for Cali, was a hand back, on 1:53.68, the busy Femke Heemskerk on 1:54.42.

Men’s 200m freestyle

Aqua Centurions Breno Correia and Poul Zellman took a 1-2 in 1:44.21 and 1:44.71 respectively. Next two home were Kacper Majchrzak, Cali, and Zane Grothe, DC, on 1:44.90 and 1:45.04.

Women’s 50m backstroke

World champion Olivia Smoliga gave Cali Condors the 9 points with a solid win over the rest, her 26.41 a half a second ahead of next best, Simona Kubova on 26.92, Energy’s Georgia Davies on 26.94, Kylie Masse, 200m winner earlier, in 27.00 to grant Cali top points in the race.

Men’s 50m backstroke

Kliment Kolesnikov gave Energy top points in 23.29, Aqua Centurion Simone Sabbioni on 23.52, DC Trident’s Andreas Vazaios on 23.69, Energy’s Florent Manaudou reminding us of his versatility on 23.77.

Women’s 200m breaststroke

The win goes to Cali’s Lilly King in 2:18.25, just ahead of teammate Kelsi Wog, on 2:18.68 in one of the many tight races. Kierra Smith, Energy, clocked 2;22.15 just ahead of Bethany Galat, fourth on 2:22.37.

Men’s 200m breaststroke

World champion Anton Chupkov grants Energy top points on 2:04.03 ahead of Ilya Shymanovich.

Men’s 4x100m freestyle

Energy – with its B team – completed a relay sweep, Sergey Shevtsov fourth home on backstroke before Florent Manaudou moved the team up to second on breaststroke and Chad le Clos took the lead on butterfly to hand over to Ivan Girev, who stopped the clock at 3:08.77. Aqua Centurions, on 3:09.80, and Energy A, on 3:10.00, completed the top three, DC GTRidenbt on 3:10.99.

In the case of a points tie there would have been a 4x50m mixed medley – to tie, no ties-breaker.

First day done…

The women’s 100m butterfly marked the start of a long-awaited global Pro-Team event in swimming. Four teams take to their blocks this day, two US-based, two Europe-based, all with racers from many nations and each with up to 24 swimmers, 12 men and 12 women, available to race from a pool of up to 32.

The session witnessed the first big global 50m freestyle race of Florent Manaudou‘s comeback. The Frenchman, Olympic 50m free gold in 2012, silver in 2016, quit the sport after the Rio Olympic Games but opted back in when news of the League and its potential sparked his interest.

The Indy pool in ISL livery - Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

The Indy pool in ISL livery – Photo Courtesy: Dan D’Addona

The pool was in lock down before the start of the session so that the League can delight us with a series of surprises and thrills during the first two-hour match. Well give you a considered view of how that went in the fullness as the meet unfolds.

No heats, just straight finals, apart from 50m skins events that require sprinters to stand up and race time and again in knockout format, on day 2.

We guessed at lights, music, team boxes on the deck, team chants – and we saw some fledgling team moves, such as Cali Condors’ wing flaps after victories – deckside interviews and lots of world-class clashes. At first glance through a TV screen, the tactics, the strategies, the roles of coaches and managers in two 10-minutes breaks built into the session so that reserves can be brought on to cope with prevailing conditions and strengths of rival teams, did not come across as a strong feature, more a learning curve and work in progress, for all concerned.

Short-course, fast, a show to provide a shop-window for swimmers who have traditionally spent most of their time in the shade of backwaters in between Olympics when it comes to the wider sports audience that tunes into a trillion-dollar-a-year sports market and industry.

Athletes and their teams will get a 50:50 share of all revenues, every point earned by a swimmer will earn $300.00 this day. The emphasis will not be on the clock but the racing: points make money, raise profiles at the heart of what every great relay swimmer has known for as long as there have been relays: one for all, all for one.

Ben Proud - no heats, semis and finals but skins, one spirit after another at the ISL, each swim a race for team (and pay day) - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant benjamin-proud-50-free-prelims-2019-world-championships_1

Ben Proud – no heats, semis and finals but skins, one spirit after another at the ISL, each swim a race for team (and pay day) – Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Lights, cameras – and come the action: the whole series, ISL officials say, will be very production-based, like a well-honed TV show. The bright and colourful lights are backed by giant digital screens around the venue sporting the logos of the league and the teams. The backdrop to the blocks is a digital screen in the shape of an iceberg with some cool digital pictures that will roll as the action unfolds. In front of that is a live DJ, busy warning up the atmosphere with music and lighting as the crowd files in steadily.

An hour from go and a couple of hundred keen fans were already in their seats banners and cheers for their favourite stars at the ready, reporters our man in Indy, Dan D’Addona. A crowd for the warm-up; a moment for fans to spot the big names crowding the lanes.

It’s been a casual Saturday in Indy, by all accounts, swimmers enjoying some some laid back fun with each other. There’s a camaraderie in the warm-up, says Dan, chatting and hugging between teammates and opponents. The “on-deck atmosphere is that of a college meet with geographical and team alliances combining into a competitive meet,” is how Dan put it.

A considered view of how it all went to follow…

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Kathy gillett
Kathy gillett
4 years ago

I so wish coach Bob Gillett was alive to witness this event. This also was a dream of his.

Kathleen Gillett
4 years ago

I so wish coach Bob Gillett was alive to witness this. This was a dream of his. He worked for years with a concept of this!

Patsy Patterson Martin

But not in New Jersey. the state will not take care of the high school swimming pools . They would rather take care of Illegals.

4 years ago

Monetary figures are wrong on your charts. Points for payments use a different scale than the points scored for the teams. It is a bit confusing, but unfortunately you have the swimmers listed here receiving more money than they actually will.

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