15-Yr-Old Benedetta Pilato Qualifies For 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games


Right on the heels of Thomas Ceccon‘s new national record in the 100m backstroke, teenager Benedetta Pilato fired off a new national record in the women’s 100m breast.

Competing in the timed finals of the 2020 Italian Championships in Riccione, 15-year-old Pilato produced a massive 100m breast time of 1:06.02. Splitting 30.64/35.38, Pilato beat out the next closest competitor of Martina Carraro en route to the top of ht podium. Carraro hit a mark of 1:06.58 while Arianna Castiglioni rounded out the top 3 in 1:07.01.

Remarkably, Pilato’s previous personal best entering this competition rested at the 1:07.06 she logged in Casarano this past July. As such, the teen hacked more than a solid second off of the fastest time she had ever produced en route to taking over the previous Italian senior record 1:06.36 Carraro put on the books at the 2019 FINA World Championships for bronze.

Pilato’s historic time here also qualifies the 15-year-old for the Olympic Games, dipping under the Italian Swimming Federation’s (Federnuoto) mandated minimum qualification mark of 1:06.4 needed for the 2020 Olympic Games.

As quick as Pilato was today in Riccione, she still has a ways to go to get into the realm of retired Olympic champion Ruta Meilutyte’s World Junior Record of 1:05.21 from 2014.

Pilato already owned Italy’s fastest 50m breaststroke performance of all-time clocking a new national record of 29.98 in the heats of the event at last year’s World Championships. She wound up taking silver in a final time of 30.00.

Pilato has since taken the 50m breast down to 29.85 at this year’s Sette Colli Trophy.

Italian Qualifying Times for 2020 Olympic Games

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Konner Scott
3 months ago

Didn’t Ruta go a 1:04 as a junior? Or was that before WJRs were counted?

Reply to  Konner Scott
3 months ago

She did, multiple times, but they were all in 2013, prior to the records’ recognition. Her 1:05.39 in August of 2014 (which wasn’t even the fastest swim she did that month) is the recognized record.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 months ago

The WJRs continue to be a complete joke. First off, FINA has a database containing every swim at a high level competition going back decades, with the date of the swim and the date of birth of the swimmer included. They should be able to figure out what the fastest swims by whatever definition of “junior” they choose are. Arbitrarily setting a date for WJRs to start counting completely undermines the whole thing and buries a rich history of incredible performances by young athletes in the sport.

Then even with that arbitrary 2014 cut off, they still managed to screw up the whole thing by just not ratifying the records when they happen half of the time. For example… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by IM FAN
Reply to  IM FAN
3 months ago


Reply to  IM FAN
3 months ago

I think there are some procedures that have to be done/followed for a record to be recognized, including a doping test, maybe some of those faster times were not followed by what every FINA requires?
I think the fastest times should be the record, but sometimes you have to cross the t’s and dott the i’s

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Dan
3 months ago

all but 2 pre-2014 true WJRs (M200 back and W50 back) were done by medallists in an Olympic, World or Junior World final, and/or were WRs at the time. these all fit the criteria to be drug tested, and the ones that werent WRs are all still national records of some kind

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  IM FAN
3 months ago


Last edited 3 months ago by Old Man Chalmers
3 months ago

Brava Benedetta! Forza Italia!

3 months ago

Wow the improvement curve.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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