Road To The Olympic Games

Aquatics

Penny Oleksiak, Kylie Masse to compete in 2nd pro swim league in October

A new professional league for elite swimmers will launch in October with meets in seven cities across the U.S. and Europe. Canadians Penny Oleksiak and Kylie Masse will compete in Indianapolis and Naples, Italy, in October.

International Swimming League will have meets in 7 U.S., European cities

The International Swimming League is scheduled to start in October. (Associated Press)

A new professional league for elite swimmers will launch in October with meets in seven cities across the U.S. and Europe, ending with a championship in a temporary pool in Las Vegas.

The International Swimming League announced its schedule Tuesday.

The season begins Oct. 4-5 in Indianapolis, followed by meets Oct. 12-13 in Naples, Italy; Oct. 18-19 in Lewisville, Texas, outside Dallas; Oct. 26-27 in Budapest; Nov. 15-16 in College Park, Maryland; and Nov. 23-24 in London at the site of the 2012 Olympic swimming competition.

The championship will be Dec. 20-21 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino's 12,000-seat arena in Las Vegas.

Canadians Penny Oleksiak and Kylie Masse will compete in Indianapolis and Naples.

Quadruple Olympic medallist

Oleksiak won the women's 200 freestyle at Canadian trials last month, clocking 1:56.92 to edge Taylor Ruck of Kelowna, B.C. (1:56.97).

A quadruple Olympic medallist three years ago in Rio, the 18-year-old from Toronto was competing in her first major meet since the Commonwealth Games last April, having taken a brief break from the sport last summer. 

Oleksiak withdrew a month out from the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.last August to focus on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

It has been a successful strategy in the past for several other swimmers, including Canadian Olympic medallist Brittany MacLean, who opted out of the 2015 world championships and returned to win a medal in Rio.

Reigning 100m backstroke champion

Masse, who hails from LaSalle, Ont., broke her own Canadian record and touched the wall in a 2019 world-leading two minutes 5.94 seconds in the 200-metre backstroke at the national swim trials.

The 23-year-old is the reigning world champion in the 100 back and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist.

The ISL says it has signed more than 200 of the world's elite swimmers, including Americans Katie Ledecky, Nathan Adrian, Simone Manuel and Ryan Murphy.

FINA, the sport's international governing body, is running its own Champions Swim Series of invitation-only meets in Guangzhou, China; Budapest and Indianapolis this spring. Total prize money is $3.9 million.

With files from CBC Sports

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