(Picture Credit: International Swimming League Facebook Page)

In a couple of days the Budapest bubble will come to an end and with that the second season of the International Swimming League. Organised at a time where high-level swimming events have been cancelled, including the Olympic Games, here is your preview to the upcoming finals match.

When is the match?

Final ISL match will be taking place over two days, similar to how the rest of the matches were held. Day 1 will be held on the 21st of November 2pm to 4pm local time (6:30pm to 8:30pm IST). Day 2 of the final will be on the 22nd of November between 6pm to 8pm local time (10:30pm to 00:30pm IST).

Who all are in the final?

The second season of the league saw ten teams go head to head to establish supremacy in the pool. After a regular season that comprised of ten matches and two semifinals, it is now down to four teams.

There remains equal representation from Europe and North America heading into the finals. Interestingly these four teams made the final last year as well. Here is how they stack up:

  • Energy Standard: the team from Paris is certainly the ones to watch out for. Many are calling them the team to beat. They have been excellent in the relay events this year and their women have been on the top of their game. There is no greater evidence to that than their star performers Sarah Sjöström and Siobhan Haughey.
  • Cali Candors: the team based out of San Francisco is a strong contender heading into the final. Their swimmers have won five (5) MVP (Most Valuable Player) awards till now. They have big names on their roster like Lily King, Justin Rest and team captain Caeleb Dressel. Their strengths have been the backstroke and breaststroke events, but to mount a successful challenge they will have to record faster times in the relay events.
  • London Roar: the second European team in the final vying for the top spot unsurprisingly have a wealth of English talent on their roster. Their performances over the last couple of matches have really put them in a position to contend for top honours. Their core of Adam Peaty, Tom Dean and Kira Toussaint have been instrumental in keeping their challenge alive.
  • LA Current: this team from the city of Los Angeles completes the quartet of teams racing in the final match. The men’s medley relay event has been a stronghold for this team. In fact they are yet to lose a single one this season. Team vice captain Béryl Gastaldello, captain Ryan Murphy and Tom Shields have been their standout swimmers.

Record setters

The hype around the second season of the ISL has been quite real. It was an event a lot of swimmers were looking forward to. The scarcity of high performance meets due to the world still reeling from Covid-19 meant that the ISL was going to be a showcase event for many.

Notably, the swimmers did not disappoint. Three short course world records were broken which are detailed below:

  • Great Britain swimmer who represents London Roar, Adam Peaty set a new mark for the men’s 100 metre breaststroke with a time of 55.49 seconds.
  • Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands who is also signed to the London Roar set a new world record in the women’s 50 meter backstroke event by completing the race in 25.60 seconds.
  • Cali Candors’s American swimmer Caeleb Dressel put up a time of 49.88 seconds for the men’s 100 metre Individual Medley event.

While no other records have been set in the pool as of writing this story, the ISL will go down as the first ever professional swimming league to be hosted in a bubble environment. In a setting that   is not to dissimilar to the NBA’s Orlando bubble, ISL’s Budapest bubble has been a pioneering move in the sport.

The simplest way to find a stream for the International Swimming League’s season 2 is from their website. You can access their website by clicking here.

The ISL website also has a page dedicated to details on how to access the content live. You can access that page by clicking here.

Even though the ISL season may end on Sunday, we will continue to break down the essential aspects of the International Swimming League for you. The ISL has an undeniably bright future and by extension swimming can grow a lot as a sport. But, what can India gain from such an ambitious league? Keep an eye on this space for more in-depth stories related to the ISL.

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