Adam Peaty hailed the International Swimming League (ISL) as a crucial 'stepping stone' to Tokyo 2020 as the league's second season was confirmed to start in Budapest in October.

The ISL will resume with a month of intense competition in the Hungarian capital with ten meets set to be staged from October 16 to November 15.

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Organisers are prospecting a Grand Final in Tokyo before the end of the year – staged in Las Vegas in 2019 – a landmark return of international sport to Japan if it goes ahead.

Peaty said: "I'm really looking forward to the second season, because if it's anything like the first season it'll be incredible.

"I'm missing my London Roar team. In the ISL you get to know international athletes better, whereas at an Olympics you stay in your own bubble. It's bringing the world together.

"For me, it's going to be a nice stepping stone into the Olympics next year.

"Everyone's lives have changed due to COVID-19 but one thing people have missed is sport.

"It's a great opportunity for the ISL to get everyone together in the same camp and stage loads of matches.

"It'll get the engagement from fans because you can follow it really easily in one place and get all of the amazing content that will grow the sport in the next few years."

The number of British athletes in the league has swelled for 2020 and youngsters Tom Dean and Anna Hopkin are among those to join the revolution.

The freestylers both join the ranks of London Roar, as do medley relay world champion Luke Greenbank and Freya Anderson, who competed for Aqua Centurions in 2019.

Breaststroker James Wilby and Joe Litchfield will both race in the colours of New York Breakers.

The ISL, bankrolled by Ukranian-Russian metallurgy billionaire Konstantin Grigorishin, announced in April a COVID-19 solidarity camp to help swimmers continue to train.

That camp will take place alongside the competitive action in Budapest.

Among further innovations revealed for the 2020 include the addition of Tokyo Frog Kings and Toronto Titans to the eight-team line-up.

Unlike Peaty, five-time Olympic champion Katy Ledecky doesn't see the ISL as part of her preparation for Tokyo with her name left off the DC Trident roster for this year.

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