Dahlia Takes Down Pellegrini To Kick-off Nico Sapio


The first finals session of the 45th Nico Sapio Trophy followed the morning’s electric unfolding, as several more meet records went down before all was said and done. America’s Kelsi Dahlia was responsible for one of them, as the former Louisville Cardinal smashed a winning 50m fly time of 25.07 at the Sciorba Sports Complex tonight.

After claiming the top seed of the morning in 25.95, Dahlia hacked off .88 to overtake the previous meet record of 25.53 held by legendary Swedish swimmer Therese Alshammar. Dahlia’s time sits just outside the top 25 efforts in the world so far this season. She holds the American Record in the 24.94 she produced for silver at the 2016 Short Course World Championships.

Behind the Olympian tonight were American teammate Kendyl Stewart and Italy’s Silvia Di Pietro, who earned silver and bronze in respective efforts of 25.73 and 26.46.

Although the meet record remained in tact in Dahlia’s next event, the women’s 100m free, the sprinter nailed another gold, registering a mark of 52.56 to stay ahead of a charging Italian in Federica Pellegrini. Dahlia opened in 25.40 to Pellegrini’s 25.75, but the Italian turned up her closing speed to finish in 26.95 to Dahlia’s 27.16. Pellegrini settled for silver in a time of 52.70, while Madison Kennedy of the stars n’ stripes got on the board for 3rd in 53.69.

Dahlia already holds the 6th fastest time this season with the 52.56 thrown down in Budapest. For Pellegrini, the 30-year-old is now 9th in the world rankings with tonight’s performance.

Simone Sabbioni notched a new meet record of 23.96 in the morning and his final swim was just a hair off in 23.99. That was still enough to hold off any competitors as Italian Michele Lamberti finished 2nd in 24.16, while Emanuel Fara took bronze in 24.78.

Another meet record fell tonight in the form of Matteo Ciampi‘s victory in the men’s 200m free. Stopping the clock at 1:44.20, including a 51.15 opener, Ciampi surpassed the old meet record of 1:45.17 held by now-suspended, retired swimmer Filippo Magnini.

Marco De Tullio finished over a second behind in 1:45.59 while Matteo Senor wound up with the bronze in 1:45.81.

Fabio Scozzoli made his presence known this evening, rocking a wining time of 57.17 for gold. Splitting 26.64/30.53, the veteran was able to keep young gun Nicolo Martingenghi at bay, with the teen touching in 57.33 for silver. Scozzoli had set a new meet record of 57.29 this morning, so he found a way to file off .12 to stay ahead of his young rival. Of note, America’s Michael Chadwick performed respectably in this ‘off’ event, taking 5th place in 59.37.

The men’s 50m free was a furious battle to the finish, with Federico Bocchia coming out on top in 21.43. That’s Bocchia’s fastest time since 2016 and it positions the 32-year-old veteran within the top 15 men in the world this season.

Chadwick was just a few races off from his 100m breast, but still had some zip to notch 21.58 for silver. He holds a personal best of 21.16 logged at the 2015 Duel in the Pool.

Bronze tonight in the men’s 50m free went to Santo Condorelli, who touched in 21.68 to claim his first medal under his new Italian flag. The former USC Trojan had represented the United States on its National Junior team at one point, as well as finaled at the 2016 Rio Olympics as a Canadian.

Dahlia wasn’t the only American to win 2 golds, as reigning 100m backstroke world record holder Kathleen Baker snagged a pair for herself. Baker crushed the only sub-1:00 100m IM time of the field to top the podium in 59.74, a new meet record, before taking the 100m back in 57.34. For perspective, Baker’s season-best in the 100m back is the 55.91 earned at the World Cup in Eindhoven and that mark remains #2 in the world only behind Aussie Emily Seebohm.

Additional Winners:

  • Italian Sara Morotti got the job done in the women’s 50m breaststroke, notching a new meet record of 30.53.
  • The women’s 200m fly saw Alessia Polieri race her way to the win in 2:07.00. That time ranks as 9th fastest in the world this season.
  • Lorenzo Mora won the men’s 200m back by more than 4 seconds, registering a gold medal-garnering effort of 1:52.53.
  • Francesca Fangio was successful in the women’s 200m breast, earning a top finish of 2:22.23.
  • Germany clinched a medal, courtesy of Marius Kusch who took the 100m fly event in 50.27.
  • Erica Musso was the fastest women’s 400m freestyler tonight, clocking 4:00.44 to top the podium and come within a second of Camille Muffat’s meet record of 3:59.39.
  • The women’s 400m IM winner was Ilaria Cusinatowho set a new meet record of 4:29.41.
  • The men’s 200m IM saw Alberto Razzetti get to the wall first, earning a mark of 1:56.07.

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2 years ago

Martinenghi is swimming already remarkable times: great things to come in next months.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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