Italian swimmer Arianna Castiglioni is absent from this weekend’s Playoff #2 for Aqua Centurions with flu-like symptoms.
Castiglioni, who is the fastest 50 breaststroker in the ISL so far this season (ahead of even the league’s most dominant breaststroker, Lilly King), was a late scratch from Saturday’s competition.
While the public start lists, released 90 minutes before the match, did not include her, the start lists given to the television broadcasters Bernie Guenther and Rowdy Gaines still included her name, indicating a very late scratch.
According to SwimSwam sources, Castiglioni has flu-like symptoms. She has so far tested negative for COVID-19, and will be retested next week. Castiglioni did catch COVID just before the Italian Olympic Trials.
A number of athletes were quarantined amid COVID-and-flu-like symptoms, especially from those athletes who attended last week’s European Short Course Championships.
In her stead, Aqua had to get creative in filling the breaststroke slots. They used Rika Omoto in the 200 breaststroke: she finished 8th in 2:25.11, and had her points Jackpotted by London’s Annie Lazor. In the 50, they used Spaniard Lidon Munoz, who is a good short course swimmer but not a breaststroker. She finished 8th in 32.38, which missed the minimum time standard and resulted in a 1 point penalty.
While neither substitution was particularly fruitful, in both cases they fended off the alternative: a 4 point penalty for an empty lane.
The 24-year old Castiglioni, who represented Italy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, has been arguably one of the most-improved performers this season: after not winning a race last year, or really coming very close, she has 4 event wins in 4 meets this season.
Castiglioni’s results this season:
- Match 1: 29.42 – 1st place
- Match 4: 29.31 – 2nd place
- Match 6: 29.46 – 1st place
- Match 10: 29.09 – 1st place
- Match 1: 1:05.0 – 3rd place
- Match 4: 1:04.0 – 2nd place
- Match 6: 1:03.9 – 2nd place
- Match 10: 1:04.1 – 1st place
- Match 1: 2:24.3 – 6th place
- Match 4: 2:21.4 – 6th place
- Match 6: 2:23.1 – 7th place
- Match 10: 2:21.8 – 6th place
Besides being the fastest 50 breaststroker in the league this season, she’s also the second-fastest 100 breaststroker, behind only King.
Aqua currently sits in 4th place in their opening match, of three, in the International Swimming League Playoffs. Their 138 points is well behind the top three: Castiglioni is one of a number of big-name absences that includes World Record tie-er Szebastian Szabo and Olympic gold medalist Chase Kalisz.
Standings after day 1:
- London Roar – 280.5
- LA Current – 246.0
- Toronto Titans – 231.5
- Aqua Centurions – 231.5