Disclaimer: BlueSeventy 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 BlueSeventy Swim 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.
Early April is becoming the perfect storm of national championship meets around the globe. Australia, South Africa, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan, China and Russia are all hosting major meets between April 3 and April 13.
And even in that massive crowd of meets, Italy is proving itself a standout. Much of that status comes thanks to a dominant male distance group led by Gabriele Detti.
Detti doubled up at Italian Nationals, winning the 200 and 400 frees in times that led the world ranks as of his swims. A double bronze medalist in Rio, Detti is now proving himself a major threat for this summer’s World Championships.
Detti was 1:46.38 in the 200 free and 3:43.36 in the 400. He’s since been passed up by China’s Sun Yang, but is still inside the top 3 worldwide in both events with about four months to go until the World Championships.
Maybe most interesting is that Detti has Italy contending with the best swimming nations in the world – on the men’s side at least. Compare Italian Nationals to Australia’s national championships meet. Interestingly, the Italian men currently have a faster winning time in 8 of 13 events that both nations have swum. Australia still has one more day of competition to go with three more men’s races. But there’s a good chance that Italy wins 2 of those 3. Gregorio Paltrinieri went 14:37.08 in the 1500 at Italian Nationals, and even though Mack Horton is good, it would be a massive swim for him to beat the defending Olympic champ Paltrinieri’s time. Plus, Australia still has to swim the 50 breast, a national weakness for the Aussies and a strength for Italy. Nicolo Martinenghi‘s winning time was technically 27.09, even though he was 26.97 in semifinals. The difference probably won’t matter, as Italy’s winner was a full second faster in the 100 breast.
Australia will likely have a faster winner in the 50 back with Mitchell Larkin, but that would still leave Italy with a 10-6 edge in winning times.
Winning Times: Italian Championships vs Australian Championships
The really interesting thing about this comparison is how close many of the event winners were. In a hypothetical dual meet between Italy and Australia, we’d be seeing touchout finishes in the 200 free (.5 second margin), 200 back (.1 second margin), 200 breast (.06 second margin), 50 fly (.03 second margin), 100 fly (.1 second margin) and 200 fly (.3 second margin).
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