Hopkin, Renshaw and Wood star in thrilling ISL clash

2 Oct 2021

Molly Renshaw, Abbie Wood and Anna Hopkin were at the heart of a thrilling International Swimming League 'play-in' match that brings the curtain down on the first period of the 2021 campaign. 

In a contest staged to see which two of the bottom four ranked sides would qualify for November's play-offs, it was Hopkin's DC Trident and Team Iron - for whom Alys Thomas and Matt Richards were among key performers - who went through, with those outfits eventually separated by a mere nine points at the end of a nip-and-tuck two-day meet.

Hopkin's contributions came both individually and as part of Trident relay successes. The first was in the Women's 4x100m Freestyle on day one, with the Olympic gold medallist taking on the third leg and putting in a time that was more than half-a-second faster than any other athlete in the entire race.

Compatriot Isabella Hindley also played a key part in that event, racing well over the second 100m as the DC quartet claimed the win. 

Hopkin was involved in another big Trident point haul courtesy of a second-placed finish in the Women's 4x100m Medley Relay later on the day, a result matched in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay on day two. In both, her pacy anchor freestyle leg was crucial. 

Individually, there was also an impressive second place in the 100m Freestyle as Anna showed her form again, with Hindley having previously finished third in the 50m contest. 

For Iron, Alys Thomas continued her solid record in the 200m Butterfly by flying to second, before helping her foursome finish third in the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay. 

Alys  Thomas
Alys Thomas

On the men's side, Richards - who won Olympic gold in the Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay in Tokyo - was part of an Iron team that placed third in the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay, before coming fourth in the 200m Freestyle event. 

The Brit-heavy Breakers, meanwhile, ended their 2021 season by edging out Tokyo Frog Kings for third place in this match - and that result was boosted by eye-catching performances from, among others, Loughborough National Centre trio Renshaw, Wood and Sarah Vasey. 

European champions Wood and Renshaw - both part of David Hemmings' group in Loughborough - led the way from early on as they sealed a New York 1-2 in the Women's 200m Breaststroke. The pair streaked clear down the final 50m, with Wood just getting the better of her teammate - the long-course gold medallist in this event at May's European Championships - at the touch. 

That result was one of five podium finishes for Wood across the two days. The Buxton-born athlete finished second in the 200m and 400m Individual Medley showpieces, while also placing third in the 100m Individual Medley and 400m Freestyle. Overall, Wood amassed an awesome 212.5 points across her ISL 2021 matches - leaving her as the sixth-highest points scorer in the entire competition to date. 

For Renshaw, her result of the match arrived in the 100m Breaststroke, which saw her go one better than the 200m event and claim a valuable victory. 

The breaststroke races continued to bring points for New York's British competitors. Sarah Vasey - who trains under coach Mel Marshall - was third in the 50m event on day one, before securing a precious point boost for her team by qualifying through the first round of breaststroke skins late on day two. 

Molly Renshaw Sarah Vasey ISL 2020 New York Breakers
Molly Renshaw (left) and Sarah Vasey both had reasons to smile in ISL match 11

Elsewhere for the Breakers, Joe Litchfield swam well for second in the Men's 200m Freestyle. Litchfield is one of Britain's deep field of world-class competitors over that distance. 

Meanwhile, teenager Jacob Whittle's impressive relay form continued as he laid the platform for his quartet to swim clear and win the Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay. 


DC Trident - 506.0

Iron - 497.0

NY Breakers - 388.5

Tokyo Frog King - 385.5

Those results will see DC Trident and Iron into November's eight-team play-offs, which will take place in Eindhoven, starting with a four-way clash between those two, Energy Standard and Cali Condors on 11th and 12th November.

We will keep you updated on the performances of our athletes throughout the next stage across the British Swimming website and social media channels.