Adam Peaty led the 13-strong roster of British swimmers racing at the International Swimming League – European Derby in the London Aquatics Centre this weekend.
This was the sixth instalment of the ISL, with the final taking place in Las Vegas at the end of December.
Athletes from the four European-based teams put on some stellar performances in order to secure their place in the final. Energy Standard came out victorious, followed closely by London Roar who excelled in front of an electric home crowd.
These teams now progress to the final in Las Vegas at the end of December. For the other two, their ISL season comes to a close, however, the ISL founder is already said to have big plans for next season, which you can read more about here.
A total of 13 British swimmers were in action, with many of them racing under the London Roar brand; full team rosters are available here. ISL Ambassador and breaststroke phenom Adam Peaty (24) had a rocky start on day 1, finishing fourth in the 50m breaststroke.
Peaty is known to back-end his swims with a fiery pace that his peers lack, but in short course swimming that advantage is interrupted.
On the 50, Peaty said: “Oh don’t get me started on that 50! You make a mistake in a 50 and you’re out of the game. I made two, maybe even three mistakes. But [coming fourth] is good for the sport and it’s good for me. It keeps me on my toes”.
He later redeemed his earlier flawed swim by winning his main event and delivering the fastest 100m breaststroke in the ISL season so far.
Scottish superstar Duncan Scott (22) had some incredible swims across the two days, racking up 40 points in total – the highest of any British swimmer. He stormed past Phillip Heintz of Germany in the last 50m of the 200m IM to finish first, an event which he originally wasn’t entered in.
Holly Hibbott, 20, continued London Roar’s winning form on day two after storming to victory in the 400m freestyle. She said: “I was pleased with my swim, I’m in the middle of a hard block of training so to come and do a best time is a bonus for me”.
LR co-captain James Guy, 24, didn’t manage to deliver a win for his team, but in the ISL top 4 finishes are just as important; read more about that here. His top finish was 2nd in the 400m freestyle. A top three place in what was a stacked women’s breaststroke proved a difficult feat for the GB swimmers.
It was ES swimmer Imogen Clarke who came the closest with her 2nd place finish in the 50. Sarah Vasey, 23, mustered a 5th and 6th place finish in the 100m and 50m breaststroke, respectively, and spoke afterwards about the benefit of the ISL template for both athletes and audiences.
“The fact that is only lasts for two hours, that’s something people can engage in. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work because swimming is such an individual sport, but everyone on the team has embraced each other straight away and that’s massive. It’s definitely something that people can really learn from”. (Sarah Vasey)
For the rest of the British swimmers’ results, check out the live blog we ran over the weekend.