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F-Teamers shake up the ISL Grand Finale

19 December 2019

Holly Barratt
Holly Barratt ready to race at a previous ISL competition this year

The introduction of the International Swimming League (ISL) has taken the sport of swimming to new heights. The ISL is a new platform for the best swimmers in the world to compete against one another. The league is made up of 8 teams, each with a roster boasting the best swimmers in the world. Each team has 12 men and 12 women athletes. The competition is team based so swimmers compete for point scores for their team. The regular season of the ISL has 6 seasonal matches after which the top 2 US clubs and the top 2 European clubs with the highest accumulative points will advance to the final match. The final of the ISL will take place December 20-21st in Las Vegas and will see the LA Current, Cali Condors, Energy Standard and London Roar battle it out to see who the winning club will be in the first year of the ISL. F-Teamers Imogen Clark, who swims with the Loughborough Swimming Club in the UK and Holly Barratt, who trains with the Rockingham Swimming Club in Australia will compete at the upcoming match in Las Vegas.

London Roar's Holly Barratt gave us the inside scoop before she left home to compete at the big final in Las Vegas.

What does London Roar need to do to win in Las Vegas?

Holly: "We have done really well in our three previous matches, so we just need to make sure we keep that momentum going and keep lifting! There are double points in relays and triple in skins, so we'll be working extra hard on getting those events right. It's going to be close!"

What events will you be swimming?

Holly: "In previous matches I have swum in the Freestyle and Medley relays, 50m Backstroke, 100m Backstroke and 50m Butterfly. I don't know what I'll be swimming in the final, but it will be whatever my team needs!"

Who are your main competitors?

Holly: "The sprint females, so I'm looking forward to possibly racing Sarah Sjostrom, Olivia Smoliga, Emily Seebohm, Beryl Gastaldello and others."

Holly Barratt
Holly has sprung into action at this year's ISL competitions across the globe

How different is the ISL compared to normal swim meets? What's the difference?

Holly: "ISL matches are made to be really exciting for the fans, so the races are close together and we get to interact with the crowd. It can make it hard work if you have multiple races, but really exciting for everyone. The races are also more about placing rather than times, so it's a great chance to just race!"

What has your experiences been with the ISL and London Roar?

Holly: "Even though our team is made up of swimmers from many different countries and for many of us it's the first time meeting each other, we have become really close and very supportive of each other so quickly! Everyone contributes to the team really well."

Imogen: "My experience with the team has been like nothing I've ever done before, having a team supporting you race is something so unique in swimming as it's such a solo sport and the team backs you the whole way no matter what the result, which is humbling."

Which swim results are you most proud of this year?

Holly: "I've been really happy with my 50m and 100m Freestyle this year. I've dropped time in these races after a few years of doing similar times, so I'm motivated to keep improving there, as well as seeing improvement in my 100m Backstroke after a change in my technique."

Funkita athlete Holly Barratt raced the 50m and 100m Backstroke in the ISL event in London where she placed 4th and 6th, respectively. Barratt was part of the London Roar Medley relay team coming in 3rd and the Freestyle relay placing 2nd. We look forward to seeing some fast racing from Holly in Las Vegas!

Imogen Clark
Imogen Clark in our Strapped In One Piece and Twisted One Piece from the Colour Sphere collection

F-Teamer Imogen Clark is part of the leading Energy Standard club. She will look to put on a strong performance in the Breaststroke events after having placed second in the 50m Breaststroke, just finishing behind Team Iron's Alia Atkinson by 0.12s in London. Clark, after having suffered a spinal injury in April, has returned to swimming with a bang racing throughout the ISL season. She will look to finish the year off strong in Las Vegas!

The rankings of the ISL clubs going into Las Vegas has Energy Standard leading the score board with 1499.5 points, followed by London Roar with 1448.5 points and then Cali Condors and LA Current with 1437 points and 1360 points, respectively. There is a very close rivalry between London Roar and Energy Standard so keep a close eye on the point scores. It will be an intense final match with the winning club making ISL history on December 20-21st.

For Imogen, the chance to race against the world's best has been the highlight of her first ISL season. "My best race so far during the ISL was the London round where I got to race the 50m Breaststroke with World Record holder Alia Atkinson for the first time. She's a massive inspiration to me so that was very exciting."

You can watch the ISL on 7 Plus, with highlights of every ISL meet also being shown on 7TWO and online here.

Holly Barratt ?Imogen Clark



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