Caeleb Dressel made all the right waves in his first International Swimming League competition on Saturday, in Naples Italy.
The American was the undisputed star on Day 1, propelling the Cali Condors to a narrow 7.5 point lead over rival team Energy Standard in the league’s European debut.
After missing last weekend’s inaugural competition in Indianapolis, Dressel delivered a whopping 22.5 points, the most of any individual swimmer, to help Cali edge Energy Standard on the night.
“It’s been a blast,” said Dressel. “It’s my first ISL [competition], I missed Indy, but this is absolutely fantastic.”
While Dressel raced four times during the two-hour, fast-paced session, the highlight was unquestionably a win in his showdown with Energy Standard’s Florent Manaudou in the 50-metre free. It was the first time the two superstars had gone head-to-head in their careers.
Dressel also faced off with Energy Standard captain Chad Le Clos in the 100 butterfly, losing by just 0.01 seconds.
Kylie Masse delivers
Canada’s Kylie Masse provided yet another standout performance for Cali. The 23-year-old from Lasalle, Ont. won the women’s 200 backstroke for the second straight week.
WATCH | Kylie Masse wins 2nd consecutive 200 backstroke:
Sweden’s Sarah Sjöström, however, helped keep Energy Standard in the mix. The team’s female captain — and top point-scorer last weekend — once again won the women’s 50 free, but was upset in the 100 fly by Cali’s Kelsi Dahlia.
Sjöström, however, made amends in the women’s 4×100 free relay. Together with Canadians Penny Oleksiak and Kyla Sanchez and Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands, Sjöström swam a critical leg to help Cali take top honours in this event for the second straight week.
WATCH | Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez swim in the 4×100:
The two teams will battle once again in the skins event on Sunday.
Skins is worth triple the points, and it was a major factor behind Energy Standard’s 82-point blowout victory last weekend in Indianapolis.
The ISL is a set of seven events taking place in the United States and Europe over the next couple of months.
The league features eight teams — four based in the United States and four in Europe.
CBC Sports has the Canadian ISL rights and will stream every meet live — including the the conclusion of the Naples event on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. ET.
Standings after Day 1:
- Cali Condors – 237.5
- Energy Standard – 230.0
- DC Trident – 174.0
- Aqua Centurions – 162.5