SWIMMING: ISL I finishes with Energy Standard on top as Ledecky scares 400 m Free record

Freestyle superstar Katie Ledecky (USA)

The first International Swimming League meet is in the books and another small crowd at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis saw more lighting effects, loud announcing and some really good swimming.

The competition between the four competing teams is set up like a college dual meet, with points scored 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 for the eight places, double points for relays and triple points for the “skins” races in which eight start for four places in the second round, those four compete for two places in the final and then a final race (three rounds, hence triple the points).

France-based Energy Standard won the first meet (521), followed by the Cali Condors (San Francisco: 425), with DC Trident (Washington, D.C.) third at 316.5 and Italy’s Aqua Centurions fourth (290.5).

The star of the show was Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who won the 100 m Free and 50 m Fly, then won the three-race 50 m Free “skins” to give her five individual wins for the meet, held in a short-course (25 m) pool. She won the “Most Valuable Player” designation by being the top point-scorer in the meet (no official totals; this is from coverage at SwimmingWorldMagazine.com):

● Men:
1. 43.0 points Chad LeClos (RSA) ~ Energy Standard
2. 41.0 points Florent Manoudou (FRA) ~ Energy Standard
3. 30.5 points Mitch Larkin (AUS) ~ Cali Condors

● Women:
1. 55.5 points Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) ~ Energy Standard
2. 44.0 points Olivia Smoliga (USA) ~ Cali Condors
3. 31.5 points Lilly King (USA) ~ Cali Condors

Every participant received $1,000 for competing and then $300 for each point scored. So, for Sjostrom – subject to an official release on points and money – won $16,650 in points money, which is excellent pay for any swimmer. Same for Smoliga ($13,200), Le Clos ($12,900) and so on.

Sjostrom had five individual wins plus a relay victory for six total. American King (Cali) won all three Breaststroke events and was on the winning 4×100 m Medley; South Africa’s LeClos (Energy) won the men’s 100 m Free and 100-200 m Flys and swam on two winning relays for five wins on the weekend.

The star of the swimming was Katie Ledecky (D.C.), who faced Australia’s Ariarne Titmus (Cali) in a short-course rematch of their famous World Championships race over 400 m, won by Titmus over a tiring (and sick) Ledecky on the final lap. This time, there was no comeback for Titmus as Ledecky won clearly in 3:54.06, scaring Titmus’s world short-course record of 3:53.92 from the 2018 World Short-Course Championships. Ledecky’s time easily eclipsed Katie Hoff’s American Record of 3:57.07, set way back in 2010. Titmus finished second in 3:57.91 and American Hali Flickinger (Cali) was third in 3:59.81.

In terms of the 2019 short-course (25 m) year list, seasonal bests were set in 14 of the 16 individual events on the second day; over the two days, there were 29 world-leading short-course marks set in the individual events held.

There was a lot to reflect on in this meet, with the second leg coming next week in Naples, where a stronger crowd is expected. The swimmers loved the attention, the show and the money involved. Whether that will continue is the question.

In Budapest, the FINA World Cup rolled into its second group of meets, all held in long-course (50 m) pools to allow times to be eligible for Olympic qualifying. The expected star was Hungary’s own triple Olympic winner Katinka Hosszu, who did not disappoint.

Hosszu won three events, including her specialties in the 200 and 400 m Medleys and the 200 m Butterfly, and added a third in the 100 m Backstroke and a win on the Mixed 4×100 m Free relay. Her biggest rival for World Cup points and prizes has been Australian sprint star Cate Campbell, who showed excellent form with a 53.00 win in the 100 m Free. She also finished fourth in the 50 m Free and was third in the 50 m Fly.

The top performances on the men’s side came from Russia’s Vladimir Morozov, pushing hard toward another World Cup title. He won the 50 m Free in 21.50, the 100 m Free in a solid 47.99 and the 50 m Back in 24.70 for the maximum three wins that count for points. Lithuania’s Freestyle star Danas Rapsys won the 200 m Free in a very nice 1:45.97 and the 400 m Free in 3:49.09.

Arno Kamminga (NED) won all three Breaststroke events; American Michael Andrew won the 200 m Medley. The World Cup continues next week with the fifth leg, in Berlin (GER). Winners and other highlights:

FINA Swimming World Cup
Budapest (HUN) ~ 4-6 October 2019
(Full results here)

Men

50 m Free: Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 21.50. 100 m Free: Morozov (RUS), 47.99. 200 m Free: Danas Rapsys (LTU), 1:45.97. 400 m Free: Rapsys (LTU), 3:49.09. 1,500 m Free: Florian Wellbrock (GER), 14:57.83.

50 m Back: Morozov (RUS), 24.70. 100 m Back: Ryosuke Irie (JPN), 53.50. 200 m Back: Irie (JPN), 1:56.79.

50 m Breast: Arno Kamminga (NED), 27.13. 100 m Breast: Kamminga (NED), 59.05. 200 m Breast: Kamminga (NED), 2:07.96.

50 m Fly: 1. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), 23.22. 100 m Fly: Kristof Milak (HUN), 51.27. 200 m Fly: Bence Biczo (HUN), 1:58.67.

200 m Medley: Michael Andrew (USA), 1:59.02. 400 m Medley: Yuki Ikari (JPN), 4:14.43.

Women

50 m Free: Michelle Coleman (SWE), 24.56 (4. Cate Campbell (AUS), 24.69). 100 m Free: C. Campbell (AUS), 53.00. 200 m Free: Veronika Andrusenko (RUS), 1:59.58. 400 m Free: Maddy Gough (AUS), 4:10.36. 800 m Free: Mireia Belmonte (ESP), 8:31.42.

50 m Back: Kira Toussaint (NED), 27.68. 100 m Back: Toussaint (NED), 59.56 (3. Hosszu (HUN), 1:00.69). 200 m Back: Katalin Burian (HUN), 2:09.98.

50 m Breast: Ida Hulkko (FIN), 30.82. 100 m Breast: Hulkko (FIN), 1:07.42. 200 m Breast: Tjasa Vozel (SLO), 2:26.52.

50 m Fly: Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED), 25.63 (3. C. Campbell (AUS), 26.14). 100 m Fly: Zsuzanna Jakabos (HUN), 59.14. 200 m Fly: Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 2:08.55.

200 m Medley: Hosszu (HUN), 2:09.56. 400 m Medley: Hosszu (HUN), 4:34.37.

Mixed

4×100 m Free: Hungary (Nemeth, Szabo, Jakabos, Hozzsu), 3:29.06. 4×100 m Medley: Netherlands (Toussaint, Kamminga, Brzoskowski, Kromowidjojo), 3:48.03.

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