Carraro Breaks Italian Record in 100 Breast; Castiglione Matches Her


Italy’s momentum from 2018 is carrying over nicely to 2019, and on Monday evening in Gwangju, the country’s swimmers broke their 3rd National Record in 2 days in the women’s 100 breaststroke. That puts them on pace to surpass the 10 they broke at last summer’s European Championships (including 2 in mixed medley relays).

The latest effort comes in the women’s 100 breaststroke semi-final from Martina Carraro, who swam to a 4th-place qualification for finals in 1:06.39. That broke her own National Record of 1:06.41 that was broken at the 2016 Italian Championships/Olympic Trials.

Carraro largely missed-out on the Italian explosion in 2018: at the European Championships, she finished just 7th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.59 – her fastest time since 2016. She wasn’t even the top Italian – her younger countrymate Arianna Casstiglioni took bronze and nearly got the Italian Record in 1:06.54.

Castiglioni, meanwhile, had to take on a swim-off with Fanny Lecluyse to even qualify for the final, and she took advantage with a new personal best and matching Carraro’s semi-finals record of 1:06.39.

Comparative Splits:

1st 50 2nd 50 Total Time
Martina Carraro 2019 Worlds 31.76 34.63 1:06.39
Martina Carraro 2016 Nationals 31.28 35.13 1:06.41
Arianna Castiglioni 2019 Worlds 31.55 34.84 1:06.39

While the time wasn’t vastly different from her 2016 record, the pacing of the 26-year Carraro old has evolved significantly in that half-a-second of speed has moved from the front-half to the back-half of her race. The difference? An added strength routine. At the 2018 Short Course World Championships in Hangzhou, Carraro said that she was taking on a new strength training routine for this season, and early returns show that it’s paying off in a big way for her. So far in 2019, she’s now swum 7 times faster than her 2018 best in this event.

Castiglione’s pacing, meanwhile, did a similar, if more modest shift to back-half speed: at the European Championships, she split 31.34/35.20.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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