Caeleb Dressel Mashes Mini Medley World Mark To Help Queen Lilly King & Cali Condors Crew Grab 2020 League Crown; Adam Peaty Roars Once More

2020-11-22 Reading Time: 9 minutes
Caeleb Dressel sets World Record 100 fly ISL finals Budapest, Hungary (photo: Mike Lewis)

Caeleb Dressel hammered out the first sub-50sec 100m medley for a sizzling World Record in International Swimming League semi-finals last weekend but his 49.88 already looks stale and passé, courtesy of a rippling 49.28 for his fourth global standard in the latter stages of the 2020 ISL Battle In The Bubble of Budapest.

Jackpot Points to Cali Condors:

Adam Peaty, with a World record in the 100m breaststroke and Lilly King, the global standard in the same event rattled too, shone in the closing skins with powerful roar and soar, King’s efforts sealing the 2020 International Swimming League Title for the Cali Condors.

Lilly King Cali Condors ISL (photo: Mike Lewis)

Lifted up by Dressel and King and helped by wins from Olivia Smoliga and Hali Flickinger, Cali Condors took the League Trophy by nearly 100 points over Energy Standard, London Roar third, LA Current fourth.

Speaking about the Condors’ triumph, Dressel said: “The energy this team brings… you really want to be a part of it and you can see every time we step up to race.”

“Feeding off the energy has been great. It has been such a fun time being in this bubble. I can’t thank the ISL enough. This is the most fun time of my life.”

The Cali Condors scored a dominant 561.5 points with the Energy Standard on 464.5, the London Roar on 391 and LA Current on 298, the battle, in that sense, not as tight as last year’s, when Energy claimed the Trophy ahead of Roar.

Condors General Manager Jason Lezak and head coach Jonty Skinner celebrated as Dressel was crowned season and match MVP (most valuable player) of 2020, four world records in the bargain. Said Lezak:

“We came into this with the goal of winning and we’re undefeated. It doesn’t get any better than that. They came together as a team, that’s how we won this. We have superhumans on this team but it’s not won by individuals but by everyone coming together. “We came into this knowing it would be a tough challenge but they stepped up and I am proud of them.”

In the wake of Dressel’s medley masterstroke, Marcin Cieslak was next home to grant a 1-2 points punch for the Condors on their way to the League crown but a 51.17 effort screamed: Mind The Gap! Dressel is in the League and a league apart.

On breaststroke, so too, is Peaty. In the 100m final today it was another case of Mind The Gap, with twist of revenge in the mix.

Adam Peaty Roars

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Adam Peaty – courtesy of the ISL

Earlier in the League season, Ilya Shymanovich took out the European 100m breaststroke record and sparked a controversy over his dolphin kick action. Peaty hit back with a 55.49 World record.

Today, Shymanovich clocked 55.49, a match of the Peaty standard and inside Cameron van der Burgh‘s 2009 world record of 55.61, set in the last season of shiny suits. Not good enough.

Ahead of Shymanovich, on 55.41, was Olympic champion Peaty, who led from go to gold as far as the official splits go:

  • 25.85 55.41 (29.56) Peaty
  • 25.99 55.49 (29.50) Shymanovich

Peaty said:

“I’m very happy to come away with another world record and on the 50 again it was another British record and a PB, so I’m getting closer to the 50 world record, which would be ideal! I tried to use my energy to get the best swims I could – still a lot to grow, still a lot to learn, but I think I’m in a very good place going into a long course season now, and the Olympics. I’m very happy with my performances and I think the team can be very happy with where we ended up – it was very, very close.”

Rob Woodhouse, Roar general manager reflected on the record through a chortle:

“It was horrible wasn’t it? We were going ‘come on, come on’. The wall couldn’t be any further away. His turns weren’t great either but he touched the wall and that is what he seems to do all the time. He’s got to regroup now for the skins – that is going to be pretty important for us to see if we can secue that third spot.”

Peaty was clearly helped by some impressive roaring for him back home:

Time Matters

The trouble with not showing anything but the time of the winner – and then only for a moment in League action is clear: at that speed and those margins, time matters; time is a part of the instant story. Without it, a World-record can seem almost anti-climactic, something not worthy of instant roar. That ought never to be.

… As Does Pure Racing …

Peaty did not end his six-week campaign there. He was back on his blocks for the skins in the last battle of the League season and clearly intended to go out with a Roar for the London Roar:

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Before that, Lilly King, having rattled the 100m breaststroke World record with a 1:02.5 power play, proved herself queen of breaststroke and skins with a 3 for 3 for sealed the League title for the Cali Condors.

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An Eye On Scott the Scot…

Much unfolds in the context of what the swimmers are working for: Tokyo 2020 in 2012. In that context, the eye was drawn to Duncan Scott, of London Roar, ad his two British records: after emerging from a terrific tussle the winner of the 200m freestyle in 1:40.25 (ahead of 1:40.49 from Townley Haas and 1:41.55 from Danas Rapsys), Scott the Scot then trounced all challengers in the 400m medley, with a 3:59.83, next home Andrew Seliskar on 4:02.42.

World Records Backed By Close Calls

Dressel followed his medley sledgehammer with a 22.09 win over 50m butterfly, while before his medley World record, he had given the world 100m free standard a rattle too… 45.08.

The standard lives to fight another hour, day, year… it has stood to Frenchman Amaury Leveaux since he blasted a 44.94 at the European Short-Course Championships in Rijeka, Croatia, in December 2008 as European coaches staged a poolside protest against the use of shiny suits skewing swimming speed and the nature of natural angles of buoyancy so critical to that and race outcomes.

The closest any swimmer had got too Leveaux on the clock since 2008 was the smallest gap possible: 0.01 – when Vlad Morozov clocked 44.95 in 2018 World-Cup action. Florent Manaudou has a 45.04 from 2013, while Dressel searches yet for the more ‘perfect’ swim that will surely deliver a sub-45 come the moment.

Strong throughout the season, Dressel became the dominant League force at the semi-final and then final stages in the six-week Bubble of Budapest, complete with its Solidarity Camp at the start of financial support, race prize money given against a backdrop of monthly wages for more than 300 swimmers between September this year and the cusp of the Tokyo 202One Olympic Games next July.

More on the showdown below

Caeleb Dressel – 2020 World-Record Bull Run In The League:

100m butterfly

50m freestyle

100m medley

ISL – Season 2

The ISL’s take on the last day of action:

Condors soar to first championship

The San Francisco-based team never took their foot off the gas in the final, extending their unbeaten streak to six matches this season.

Dressel warmed up for his world record heroics with a well-executed win over the Standard’s Florent Manaudou in the 100m freestyle. His 45.08 was a new US and ISL record.

In the 100m individual medley, he burst off the blocks, hit all the turns smartly and finished with immense pace to grab the record. He went 1-2 with Marcin Cieslak, jackpotting everyone apart from his teammate to earn 37 team race points.

That put the Condors’ on the winning path, growing their lead to 69.5 points over the Standard at the first break – and they never looked back.

A long turn put paid to Dressel’s record hopes in the 50m butterfly but he touched home in a comfortable win over Tom Shields of LA Current.

The Condors won seven of Day 2’s 19 races.

Breaststroke supremo Lilly King was in imperious form, winning the 100m in a new ISL record before going on to win the 50m breaststroke skins for the fifth time this season. King beat teammate Molly Hannis in the final round, with the pair bagging 35 team race points.

Among other highlights for the team was Olivia Smoliga’s 55.04 American record in the 100m backstroke, the second fastest swim of all time.

Kelsi Dahlia said the Condors’ had trained hard. “There are tough people on this team and Jason did a great job. People stepped up. I am super proud. It means so much to the Condors.”

Standard impress but relinquish title

The defending champions fought valiantly but were no match for their US rivals today.

The Paris-based team picked up five wins, kicked off with victory for Chad le Clos in the 200m butterfly. The South African had to dig deep to see off the challenge of the Current’s Shields.

Kliment Kolesnikov sprung a surprise in the 100m backstroke, defeating LA’s Ryan Murphy after an impressive turn into the last 25m. “I was progressing for each match. I thought I needed to do something special so I just did my job,” he said.

Siobhan Haughey caused a shock in the 200m freestyle, putting in a strong finish to beat the rapidly advancing favorite Freya Anderson.

Sarah Sjostrom, one of the Standard’s stars this season, won the 50m butterfly, going 1-2 with teammate Madeline Banic to push Beryl Gastaldello of the Current out of it.

In the mixed 4x100m freestyle, the Paris team launched a fightback after the second leg to outdo Cali.

Emily Seebohm paid tribute to the Condors, saying they were “just too good” over the two days. “We gave it our best and unfortunately that wasn’t good enough. The Condors did so amazing. World records were being broken over and over, it was insane. That’s sport, that’s what happens,” she said.

“For us it’s back to the drawing board and what can we do better. I can’t wait for another season of ISL because this is amazing.”

Strong finish for Roar

Peaty’s 100m breaststroke record inspired London to a series of wins in the second half of the meet.

The Roar got some big points on the board before that when Duncan Scott defeated the in-form Townley Haas of the Condors to win the 200m freestyle in a new British and ISL record of 1:40.25.

Then came Peaty who went head to head with the Standard’s Ilya Shymanovich in the 100m breaststroke but had enough to win and bettered his world best by 0.09. The pair met again in the breaststroke 50m skins race, with the Brit securing a big points win.

London were dominant in the 400m individual medley. In the women’s race, Sydney Pickrem trounced the competition, coming in well ahead of the Condor’s Hali Flickinger. Scott showed his distance class again, going 1-3 with teammate Tom Dean.

Commenting on the season finale, general manager Rob Woodhouse said every race had felt like a world championship final and Cali were deserving winners, “Cali have got great depth. Jason Lezak has put a great team together. It’s a joy to watch them race.”

Current struggle for points

The Current could manage only two wins today. In a strong field of swimmers, some of their top talent just failed to edge out their rivals in close races.

Beryl Gastaldello got the team off to a great start with a confidence-boosting victory in the 100m freestyle, going 1-3 with Abbey Weitzeil. Later, she brought another big points haul by winning the 100m individual medley.

She led the race but was caught on the breaststroke leg before putting on the burners in the freestyle to get a 1-2 for LA.

After the match, Dylan Carter was full of praise for teammate Gastaldello, saying the Current had good momentum coming into the final having performed well through the season. He said it was an “incredible honor” to swim for the Current.

Day 1, Grand Final winners
1.Women’s 100m Butterfly – Beryl Gastadello, LA Current – 55.34
2. Men’s 100m Butterfly – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 47.78 (WR)
3. Women’s 200m Backstroke – Beata Nelson, Cali Condors – 2:00.27
4. Men’s 200m Backstroke – Evgeny Rylov, Energy Standard – 1:46.37
5. Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Lilly King, Cali Condors – 2:15.56
6. Men’s 200m Breaststroke – Kirill Prigoda, London Roar – 2:01.71
7. Women’s 4x100m Freestyle – Energy Standard (Haughey, Blume, Heemskerk, Sjostrom), 3:25.70
8. Men’s 50m Freestyle – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 20.16 (WR)
9. Women’s 50m Freestyle – Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard – 23.55
10. Men’s 200m Individual Medley – Andrew Seliskar, LA Current – 1:51.53
11. Women’s 200m Individual Medley – Sydney Pickrem, London Roar – 2:04.00
12. Men’s 50m Breaststroke – Ilya Shymanovich, Energy Standard – 25.48
13. Women’s 50m Breaststroke – Lilly King, Cali Condors – 28.77
14. Men’s 4x100m Freestyle – Energy Standard (Rylov, Kolesnikov, le Clos, Manaudou) – 3:02.78
15. Women’s 50m Backstroke – Olivia Smoliga, Cali Condors – 25.83
16. Men’s 50m Backstroke – Ryan Murphy, LA Current – 22.54
17. Women’s 400m Freestyle – Hali Flickinger, Cali Condors – 3:58.77
18. Men’s 400m Freestyle – Tom Dean, London Roar – 3:36.56
19. Women’s 4x100m Medley Relay – Cali Condors (Smoliga, King, Dahlia, Brown) – 3:44.52 (WR)
20. Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay – Energy Standard (Kolesnikov, Shymanovich, le Clos, Manaudou) – 3:18.28

Day 2, Grand Final winners
21. Women’s 100m Freestyle – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current – 51.38 
22. Men’s 100m Freestyle – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 45.08
23. Women’s 200m Butterfly – Hali Flickinger, Cali Condors – 2:03.35
24. Men’s 200m Butterfly – Chad le Clos, Energy Standard –1:48.57
25. Women’s 100m Backstroke – Olivia Smoliga, Cali Condors – 55.04
26. Men’s 100m Backstroke – Kliment Kolesnikov, Energy Standard – 48.82
27. Women’s 100m Individual Medley – Beryl Gastaldello, LA Current –57.30
28. Men’s 100m Individual Medley – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 49.28 (WR)
29. Women’s 200m Freestyle – Siobhan Haughey, Energy Standard – 1:51.11
30. Men’s 200m Freestyle – Duncan Scott, London Roar – 1:40.25
31. Women’s 50m Butterfly – Sarah Sjostrom, Energy Standard  24.73
32. Men’s 50m Butterfly – Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 22.09
33. Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Lilly King, Cali Condors – 1:02.50
34. Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Adam Peaty, London Roar – 55.41 (WR)
35. Mixed 4x100m Freestyle – Energy Standard (Rylov, Manaudou, Sjostrom, Haughey) – 3:14.21
36. Women’s 400m Individual Medley – Sydney Pickrem, London Roar – 4:24.84
37. Men’s 400m Individual Medley – Duncan Scott, London Roar – 3:59.83
38. Women’s 50m Breaststroke Skins – Lilly King, Cali Condors beats teammate Molly Hannis – 29.14
39. Men’s 50m Breaststroke Skins – Adam Peaty, London Roar, beats Ilya Shymanovich, Energy Standard – 26.10

Final Standings after Day 2 of Season 2020 Final
1 Cali Condors – 561.5
2 Energy Standard – 464.5
3 London Roar – 391
4 LA Current – 298

Grand Final MVP Standings
1 Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 96pts
2 Lilly King, Cali Condors – 71pts
3 Beryl Gastaldello – 44.5pts

Season MVP Standings
1 Caeleb Dressel, Cali Condors – 463.5pts
2 Lilly King, Cali Condors – 350pts
3 Beryl Gastaldello – 340.5pts

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