2015 Italian Spring National Championships and WC Trials
- Dates: Monday, April 13 – Monday, April 20, 2015
- Times: prelims 9:00 am, semis/ finals 5 pm
- Location: Riccione, Italy (GMT +1, or 6 hours ahead of N.Y., 9 ahead of L.A.)
- Results: Available
- Championship Central
The Italian Spring National Championships and World Championships Trials opened in Riccione on Tuesday, with 621 athletes from 139 teams. The meet is doubling as a selection meet for the Italian team who will compete at 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. The Italian qualifying standards for Kazan are more difficult than what we saw two weeks ago in France. We have outlined the standards in our Day One recap here.
Wednesday’s final session added two individual qualifiers for Kazan to the list of five established on Tuesday: Federico Turrini (400 IM) and Aurora Ponselè (1500 free). In addition, Matteo Rivolta made the relay in the 100 fly. Otherwise, it was a rather uneventful day, and commentators even went so far to say the overall performances of the Italian squad were underwhelming. Complete Results
It wasn’t the fastest day on record, and given the excitement of opening day in which five swimmers punched their tickets to Kazan, the disappointment is understandable. That said, several races were nailbiters.
Women’s 50 Butterfly Final
- Italian Record: Silvia Di Pietro, 25.78 – Berlin, 2014
- 2014 Champion: Silvia Di Pietro (Forest / CC Aniene), 26.22
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 26.20
It was almost a repeat of last year’s podium; defending champion and Italian record-holder Silvia Di Pietro (Forest / CC Aniene) won another 50 fly crown, but this year runner-up Elena Gemo (also of Forest / CC Aniene) gave her a much closer run for her money. Di Pietro edged her teammate 26.36 to 26.47. Third place went to Ilaria Bianchi (Yellow Flames / Blue 91) in 26.94; Bianchi was fourth last year.
Men’s 100 Butterfly Final
- Italian Record: Matteo Rivolta, 51.64 – Barcelona, 2013
- 2014 Champion: Matteo Rivolta (Team Insubrika), 52.49
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 52.00
Italian record-holder Matteo Rivolta (Rome Golden Flames / Team Insubrika) ascended to the top of the podium once again but this time he was .05 short of the prize; his winning time of 52.05 just missed the Kazan qualifying standard for an individual event. He did, however, earn his place on the roster for the 4×100 medley relay. Rivolta spoke to the press after his race, reflecting on where he is today. After having had an outstanding season in 2013 where he broke the national record, he has been working to get back to that form. Rivolta was pleased with the race, but mused that he may have spent too much time working on his mental state and not enough on his physical state. Still, he said he was satisfied with where he is right now in the season and knows what he needs to work on.
Piero Codia (Army / CC Aniene), Italy’s 50m fly record-holder, placed second in 52.16. Daniele D’Angelo (CC Aniene) rounded out the podium in 53.05.
Women’s 200 Breaststroke Final
- Italian Record: Ilaria Scarcella, 2:23.32 – Rome, 2009
- 2014 Champion: Giulia De Ascentis (CC Aniene), 2:26.50
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 2:24.60
After finishing third in last year’s final, Italian record-holder Ilaria Scarcella (CC Aniene) was back on top with a winning time of 2:26.61. Although it was a close finish, Scarcella led wire-to-wire, keeping a half-body length ahead of the field from the 100 onward. Giulia Verona (SMGM Team Lombardy) made up ground on the last 50 but fell short of the gold, placing second in 2:26.98. Chasing Verona over the last 100 was her teammate Francesca Fangio (SMGM Team Lombardy), who finished in 2:27.14 with the bronze medal.
Men’s 400 Individual Medley Final
- Italian Record: Luca Marin (Cooperativa Terranova), 4:09.88 – Melbourne, 2007
- 2014 Champion: Federico Turrini (Army / Livorno), 4:14.58
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 4:14.80
Defending champion Federico Turrini (Army / Livorno) was Wednesday’s only individual qualifier to Kazan on the men’s side of the meet. He won the men’s 400 IM in a dominant 4:13.20, finishing 5.6 seconds ahead of runner-up Giorgio Gaetani (Larus). Turrini’s time puts him among the top five in the world so far this year.
Gaetani hit the wall at 4:16.81, while bronze medalist, Francesco Pavone (Esercito/Andrea Doria) came in at 4:18.42.
Women’s 1500 Freestyle Final
- Italian Record: Alessia Filippi (Aurelia), 15:44.93 – Rome, 2009
- 2014 Champion: Martina Rita Caramignoli (Rome Golden Flames / Aurelia), 16:11.70
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 16:13.00
2014 runner-up Aurora Ponselè (Rome Golden Flames / CC Aniene) moved to the top of the podium this time around, and qualified for Kazan to boot, winning the event in 16:12.89. Ponselè had just set the Italian record in the 5000 in the open water competition on Sunday, and was very happy with her 1500. She mentioned that she and her coach, Emanuele Sacchi, had planned for her to pick up the speed at the halfway point and finish strong, but that it hurt a lot. Sacchi told her she was trembling during the last 50. Ponselè said she will need to work on her pacing before Kazan.
Simona Quadarella (CC Aniene) came in second with 16:28.65, while Rachele Bruni (Esercito) placed third in 16:31.60. It wasn’t a particularly deep event; only 11 contenders swam in two heats, and 52 seconds separated the winner from number 11.
Martina Caramignoli, considered one of the favorites in this race, pulled out halfway through the race due to illness.
Men’s 100 Breaststroke Final
- Italian Record: Filippo Magnini, 48.04 – Rome, 2009
- Italian Record: Fabio Scozzoli, 59.42 – Shanghai, 2011
- 2014 Champion: Mattia Pesce (Rome Golden Flames / Forum Sport Center), 1:00.89
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 1:00.20
The most exciting race of the evening, and perhaps the biggest surprise, came when fifth-seeded Lorenzo Antonelli (Larus) upset the favorites in the men’s 100 breast. Antonelli clocked a personal-best 1:00.92, just edging both Andrea Toniato (Yellow Flames / Team Veneto) and Italian record-holder Fabio Scozzoli (Army / Imolanuoto), who both touched in 1:01.19, sharing the silver medal.
Women’s 100 Freestyle Final
- Italian Record: Federica Pellegrini (CC Aniene), 53.55 – Rome, 2009
- 2014 Champion: Alice Mizzau (Yellow Flames / Team Veneto), 54.99
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 54.20
Erika Ferraioli (Army / CC Aniene) won the women’s 100 free in 54.90, leading commentators to lament the state of women’s sprint freestyle in Italy. Nevertheless it was an excellent race, and Ferraioli just barely held of defending champion, Alice Mizzau (Yellow Flames /Team Veneto), who very nearly even-split her race, touching just 6/100 back in 54.96. Third place went to Aglaia Pezzato (Team Veneto) with 55.56.
Men’s 4×200 Freestyle Relay Final
- Italian Record: Army, 7:15.03
- 2014 Champion: CC Aniene, 7:16.16
- Kazan Qualifying Time: 7:13.00
CC Aniene’s Alex Di Giorgio (1:49.49), Jonathan Boffa (1:50.37), Michele Cosentino (1:51.92) and Damiano Lestingi (1:48.67) combined for a 7:20.45 to win the men’s 800 free relay. SMGM Team Lombardy (Valerio Coggi, Alessandro Bori, Filippo Magnini, and Maurizio Mottola) was just behind, coming in second with 7:21.02. Magnini’s third leg of 1:47.74 brought Lombardy into the lead, but Lestingi outsplit Mottola by 1.4 seconds to assure Aniene of the win. Aniene’s “B” relay finished third in 7:26.13.