2021 FINA SHORT COURSE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, December 16th – Tuesday, December 21st
- Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- SCM (25m)
- Prize Money
- Meet Site
- Psych Sheet
- Live Results
Day 1 of the six-day Short Course World Championship was an electric opening act to the meet. From Siobhan Haughey‘s world record-breaking swim to a down-to-the-wire Seto v Foster IM race to the American and Canadian 4×100 freestyle tie for gold.
Another moment that was a focal point of Day 1 was Alberto Razzetti‘s dominant performance through which he won two medals and broke two Italian National Records just a few races apart.
Razzetti first took to the men’s 200 butterfly, storming to the wall in a 1:49.06. The swim was enough to capture Italy’s first gold medal of the meet and to deny Swiss Olympic medalist Noè Ponti the top spot. Ponti was the runner-up in a 1:49.81, and Chad le Clos took bronze for South Africa in 1:49.84.
Just minutes after collecting his gold medal in the 200 fly, Razzetti got back in the racing pool to swim the 200 IM final. Daiya Seto and Carson Foster ultimately took the top two spots with times of 1:51.15 and 1:51.35, respectively, but Razzetti was in it until the very end and touched in for bronze at 1:51.54.
Razzetti’s swims were both enough to land on the podium and were improvements upon his own Italian records in the events.
Razzetti had already broken both records earlier this fall, swimming a 1:52.10 in the 200 IM as a Toronto Titan and a 1:50.24 200 fly at Short Course European Championships. That means that these swims from Razzetti are the first time an Italian man has been under 1:52 in the 200 IM and 1:50 in the 200 fly.
Before this season, Razzetti’s fastest time in the 200 IM was 1:55.03 from 2018, and between August 2021 and now, he has been under that mark a total of 12 times. He holds eight of the 10 quickest short course 200 IM times from an Italian in history, while Thomas Ceccon occupies the 4th and 8th place spots.
In the 200 butterfly, Razzetti’s PB heading into the 2021-2022 season was 1:52.61 from back in 2019. Razzetti has been under that time 10 times this season. He holds the 13 fastest swims by an Italian man in the event, ranging from his new NR of 1:49.06 to 1:52.91. The next fastest man on the books is Klaus Lanzarini who posted a 1:53.02 back in 2019.
While this year was a breakthrough for Razzetti in the short course pool, he also fared well in the long course races. Razzetti qualified for his first Olympic team and raced the 200 and 400 IM. He just missed the final in the 200, placing 9th overall with a 1:57.70, but made it to the final in the 400 and wound up 8th with a 4:11.32.
Razzetti narrowly missed the 400 IM Italian record during the Tokyo prelims where he posted a 4:09.91 compared to Luca Marin‘s 2007 mark of 4:09.88. Razzetti did, however, establish a new Italian record in the 200 IM in April with a 1:57.13.
While Razzetti thrives in 2021, he seems to be a part of a bigger picture of a fast-improving Italian national team. Early in 2021, we saw Benedetta Pilato smash Lilly King’s 50 breaststroke long course world record. A few months later, Italy had a historic Olympic performance in Tokyo where they won a total of 6 medals in the pool.
Simona Quadarella took bronze in the 800 freestyle, while Gregorio Paltrinieri took silver, and Nicolo Martinenghi picked up a bronze of his own in the 100 breast. Federico Burdisso added to the pile when he placed third in the men’s 200 butterfly and the Italian men capped it off with a 4×100 freestyle silver and 4×100 medley.
On the heels of their Olympic success, the stars kept on developing as the likes of Michele Lamberti and Simone Cerasuolo got going in the fall. Lamberti raced to 5 medals at the 2021 Short Course Europeans Championships including silver in the 50 backstroke and 100 butterfly, and a bronze in the 200 backstroke. To 50 backstroke was a new Italian record for Lamberti and he also took part in the world record-breaking 4×50 medley for Italy.
Cerasuolo meanwhile recently swam a 25.85 world junior record in the short course 50 breaststroke to improve upon his own mark of 26.26 from earlier this year. At the same meet, we bettered teammate Nicolo Martinenghi‘s 2018 WJR of 57.27 in the 100 breaststroke with a 56.66 of his own.
In the wake of Razzetti’s double-medal haul, it will interesting to see how the rest of the Italians fare and if the nation can hold on to the early top-3 spot in the medal table.