Brits on Deck for ISL Season 2

In a season starved of meaningful swimming competition the launch of the second season of the International Swimming League was a welcome distraction. Despite coronavirus restrictions, the league promised to deliver a month or more of rivalry and competition centred on a “solidarity camp” which will see all 10 competing teams located in Budapest for the preliminary rounds and semi finals which will run from October 16th to November 22nd. Those meets will confirm which teams will take part in a grand final slated for the week before Christmas, possibly in Tokyo.

As part of the launch the team rosters were also revealed, putting an end to months of speculation as to who would be swimming where. While there is still a good chance these could change, if only because of quarantine or other social or travel restrictions that might be applied, there was a healthy representation of British swimmers in the squads announced. Here’s where you can find them when the action starts next month.

London Roar

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  • Adam Peaty
  • Duncan Scott
  • Holly Hibbott
  • James Guy
  • Siobhan Marie O’Connor
  • Freya Anderson
  • Tom Dean
  • Luke Greenbank
  • Anna Hopkin
  • Aimee Willmott

As Britain’s “home” team there’s no surprise to see London Roar with the largest GB contingent. Led once again by Adam Peaty, Roar has also retained the services of Duncan Scott, Holly Hibbot, James Guy and Siobhan Marie O’Connor, but has boosted its London credentials with the addition of a further 5 GB internationals.

Freya Anderson is a notable addition from Aqua Centurions, following her stellar showing at the European SC championships in December 2019. She adds depth to what is a huge sprint freestyle ladies’ line up, but one which makes sense when you note that the 50, 100 and 200m freestyles are all in the same session with only 20 minutes between the longer two events. Anna Hopkin also falls into that same sprint category and will be hoping she gets the chance to showcase her NCAA sprint skills in the skins races in her debut ISL season.

Tom Dean and Aimee Willmott make their ISL bows to cover IM and middle distance free, while Luke Greenbank will cover the three backstroke events and be a factor in the medley relays.

NY Breakers

  • Matt Richards
  • Joe Litchfield
  • James Wilby
  • Abbie Wood
  • Sarah Vasey

From just 2 GB swimmers last year, New York has boosted their British contingent considerably from their 2019 roster. Abbie Wood is the only returner, while Sarah Vasey joins from London Roar to bolster breaststroke stocks.

The other three Brits notionally headed to the big apple are all in their debut seasons. Joe Litchfield offers versatility across IM and backstroke, while James Wilby adds proven international class in breaststroke.

Most interesting is the signing of up and comer Matt Richards. The young sprinter had a great 2019 but the opportunity to spend a month training with the likes of Michael Andrew and Cameron McEvoy, who has also moved over from Roar, could be a huge boost to the young man, as will be the chance to test himself regularly against some of the world’s best sprinters.

Energy Standard

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  • Max Litchfield
  • Ben Proud
  • Imogen Clark
  • Georgia Davies
  • Lucy Hope

As the home base for Ben Proud and Georgia Davies, it’s no surprise to see those two continuing their allegiance to the Energy Standard team for the 2020 season. Imogen Clarke and Max Litchfield also return having swum for the Turkey based squad last year. They are all joined by Lucy Hope who makes her ISL debut to provide sprint free cover and maybe also some depth in the backstroke.

Breaststrokers Kayla Van de Merwe and Joycelyn Ulyett who guested for them are not retained.

Toronto Titans

  • Jay Lelliot
  • Jocelyn Ulyett

Ulyett gets her second season chance courtesy of one of the two new franchises, the Toronto Titans. The Canadian team are not overly stocked with breaststroke swimmers so she could find herself very busy. Jay Lelliott also joins the squad in the freestyle events.

With a Canadian bias in their selection, Toronto look to have a strong squad, but may struggle with depth compared to some of the established teams.

Iron

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  • Ross Murdoch
  • Bella Hindley

Ross Murdoch is back to cover all 3 breaststroke events with Katinka Hosszu’s Iron squad for his second season in what will be almost a home season for the Budapest based team.

He is joined by one of the more intriguing selections in the form of Bella Hindley. She recently graduated from Yale having completed a 4 year winning streak in the swept the 50 yards freestyle at the Ivy League championships and is now training with the Tennessee Aquatics programme in Knoxville. As one of the few GB swimmers to have raced meaningfully this year she recently set LC personal bests over 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke at the Pro-Swim series and like Matt Richards, may find this a hugely beneficial learning experience, sharing as she does, a team with Ranomi Komowidjojo.

Cali Condors

  • Mark Szaranek

Just the one Brit on the Cali roster, as there was in 2019. Mark Szaranek reprises his role covering principally IM but adding a high degree of versatility as well.

None of the other teams have any British swimmers on board, but several still have spaces available on their rosters, so there may yet be a few more Union Jacks on show when competition starts.

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