Once on a roll the points kept coming for the London Roar on day two of the ISL meet in Lewisville, Texas. But the power in skins laid with team Iron, host of the next stop of the International Swimming League (ISL) in Budapest.
LEWISVILLE – Tight racing, close team battles, a clean sweep by a teen and a big finish at the end: The ISL meet in Lewisville, Texas, had it all.
The London Roar came into day two with a 19-point buffer over the LA Current after putting on an impressive display on day one. And once on a roll the points just kept coming in. But in the much anticipated skins, three back-to-back knockout heats of 50 free, the power was neither with London nor with LA. It was with team Iron.
London Roar is taking 484.5 points to the next round of the International Swimming League (ISL) in Budapest, leading with almost 30 points over the LA Current (457 points). Iron follows with 402 points ahead of the New York Breakers (278.5).
London Roar continuously built their lead. With a clean sweep of all backstroke events by 19-year old Minna Atherton, a total of 18 wins out of 37 events as well as four out of five of the double-point relays the London Roar kept runner-up LA Current at bay.
Team Iron had a flying start to the match on saturday, winning three of the first five events before slowly falling behind. Day two then brought six wins, including two for Iron captain Katinka Hosszu in the 200 IM and the 200 Butterfly. But it was the wins by Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Vladimir Morozov in the skins that had Iron crack the 400-points mark.
“I am still tired, I am still sore, it was so much fun”, said a slightly undecided but smiling Kromowidjojo after her triple-point win. “After the first round I thought: Well, this was easy”, the double Olympic champion said, adding: "The second 50? Not so much. I just told myself: Don't sit down, or you will never get up again.” So she went up on the block, jumped into her third race in less than ten minutes and touched the wall after 24.46 seconds ahead Londons Emma McKeon (24.79).
After beating London there, it was up to Irons Morozov (22.21) to take down LA's Nathan Adrian (23.33). “I took a risk on that first one”, the short-course world champion said about not going all in from the beginning: “I was a little more rested on the second round, so it payed of.”
Morozovs performance in the skins, along with winning the 50 breastroke and 50 freestyle also made him MVP of the Lewisville meet with 43.5 points for team Iron, ahead of McKeon, who scored 42 points for the London Roar.
Lewisville, although already the third stop of the ISL, saw the debut of the athletes of the LA Current, Iron, London Roar and the NY Breakers. They had two wait their turn while the first half of the league (Energy Standard, Cali Condors, DC Trident and Aqua Centurions) kicked of the ISL in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Naples, Italy. Next stop of the inaugural season of the ISL is Budapest (26th and 27th october), where the Lewisville teams will battle it out again.
The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport.