arena Swim of the Week: Thomas Ceccon Puts Versatility On Display With 1:46.52 200 Free

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Known primarily for his abilities in the sprint free, back and fly events, Italian sensation Thomas Ceccon put his range, both in terms of distance and stroke, to the test last weekend.

Competing at the Luxembourg Euro Meet alongside some of the top European swimmers in the world, Ceccon took on three events we’ve never seen him tackle individually in major competition: 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 200 butterfly.

The standout of the three was clearly in the 200 free, where Ceccon dropped nearly two and a half seconds from his previous best time in 1:46.52, a performance that indicates he’s in for a big year.

The Italian has always had speed, but in this swim, he didn’t dip at all over the course of the event, holding 27-low to 27-mid over the final 150. During his previous PB performance, where he finished in 1:48.95, he got out to a similar start but took his foot off the gas on the third 50 to conserve some energy for the push home.

That wasn’t the case here.

Thomas Ceccon 200 Free Split Comparison

June 2021 January 2023
24.89 24.30
52.66 (27.77) 51.49 (27.19)
1:21.32 (28.66) 1:18.97 (27.48)
1:48.95 (27.63) 1:46.52 (27.55)

The 22-year-old has stepped in for Italy on the 800 free relay at the last two Short Course World Championships, including delivering a 1:42.61 split in Melbourne in December.

With this swim, he’ll now likely be called upon for the relay at major long course meets, as the time would’ve ranked third among Italians (and 26th in the world) in 2022.

Ceccon also swam personal best times of 1:02.51 in the 100 breast and 2:02.24 in the 200 fly in Luxembourg. In the 200 fly, he faded hard—25.35 on the first 50 and 34.36 on the last 50—but the takeaway is that he’s training hard and willing to experiment with some ‘off’ events that aren’t in his immediate wheelhouse.

This should only lead to improved performances this year in his best events, such as the 100 back, where he’s the world record holder and defending world champion, and the 100 free, where’s got the potential to make some noise with a 47.7 best time from 2021.

He’ll also be a factor in the 50 back and 50 fly, and his willingness to take on the 100 breast and 200 fly in Luxembourg has many wondering what he might be capable of in the 200 IM.

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1 year ago

At 17, he swam 1’53″26 in short course. At the time, it was a national record (Razzetti then took it down in 2021). I think he could be great in the 200 IM long course and I suspect he could be very good in the 100 fly too. I don’t think 47.7 is his ceiling in the 100 free,either. The problem with Ceccon is perhaps too much versatility for his own good. There was only one man who could juggle so many events and that man is now a retired swimmer and a happy father.

1 year ago


Wonder what his 200 IM would be if he swam it… really fast right? 1:56?

Reply to  Teddy
1 year ago

He went 1’59″8 4 years ago, semi to non-tapered, in that same week he swam a 50″01 100 free ( his PB was 48″87) and a 54″50 100 back( his PB was 53″60), he dropped 2.3 seconds from that 100 free and 2.9 seconds from that 100 back, moreover at the time his 200 free PB was 1’50″46 (non tapered I’d say), a 4 seconds drop and I assume he wasn’t tapered for this 1.46.

Considering he’s great at fly and relatively solid on breast (35.11 in that 2019 race) and he improved it since then, 1’56 seems too conservative if anything, 1’55 flat would imply a 4.8 seconds drop and it looks feasible, the only question mark is his… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Davide
Reply to  Davide
1 year ago

Yeah, I was actually thinking 1:55 potential, 1:56 seems fairly certain

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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