LOS ANGELES Florent Manaudou shredded the men's
50m freestyle field and Sarah Sjostrom nabbed three wins to help the Paris
based Energy Standard team to the lead on the first day of the International
Swimming League pro circuit.
France's Manaudou, the 2012 Olympic 50m freestyle gold medallist who ended
a near three month retirement in June, won the 50m free at the IUPUI
Natatorium in Indianapolis by more than half a second, clocking a season
leading shortcourse time of 20.77 seconds.
It was a clear signal that Manaudou is on course in his quest to contend
at the Tokyo Olympics.
But in the quick fire format his victory over teammate Ben Proud was more
important than the time, helping power Energy Standard to the top of the
table after the first day of competition with 250 points.
Sweden's Sjostrom, the 100m butterfly gold medallist at the Rio Games and
an eight time world champion, also fuelled Energy Star with victories in the
100m fly, the 50m free and the 4x100m freestyle relays.
Backers of the new league, brainchild of Ukrainian billionaire Konstantin
Grigorishin, are hoping its offer of significant prize money and zero
tolerance for doping will make it a haven for the world's best swimmers, and
counting on the team based, sprint centric format to provide excitement for
James Gibson, the former breaststroke world champion from Britain who is
general manager of Energy Standard, pronounced the first day an overwhelming
They love it, he said of swimmers' reaction to the format, which
squeezed 19 timed finals including three relays into two hours.
There's so much emotion on the deck.
Energy Standard jostled at the top of the points table with the Cali
Condors of California, who go into the final day of the meet in second on
DC Trident, the US team featuring American freestyle great Katie Ledecky
finished day one in third on 165 points ahead of Rome based Aqua Centurions
Each of the six meetings scheduled for the league's inaugural season
feature four of its eight teams. The top four teams in the overall standings
will compete in a series finale in Las Vegas in December.
US star Lilly King won both the 50m and 200m breaststroke for the Cali
Condors, whose Melanie Margalis edged Ledecky in the 400m individual medley.
Ledecky also settled for second in the 200m freestyle behind DC Trident
teammate Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong.
There's plenty to play for on Sunday, when the remaining events include
the intriguing freestyle skins, a three heat elimination race that
culminates with two swimmers going head to head over 50m free.
They all want to swim the skins because of the triple points, Gibson
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)