After breaking the European record in the 800 free on day 1, 19-year-old Gabriele Detti continued his rise by taking the men’s 400 free after an intense showdown with Gregorio Paltrinieri.
Detti led in the early goings, but Paltrinieri, the 1500 gold medalist at 2012 Worlds, reeled him in and the two battled through the middle of the race, separated by no more than .12 at every turn between 200 and 350 meters. Paltrinieri, also 19, took his first lead of the race at the final flip turn and looked like he’d successfully worn down his rival, but Detti showed off his speed by coming home in 26.9 to go 3:48.02. Paltrinieri took home second place at 3:48.41. Detti now ranks 8th in the world for 2014 in the event, with Paltrinieri 10th.
Also fast in that race was 27-year-old Samuel Pizzetti, who went out hard and actually led convincingly until the 300-mark. Pizzetti didn’t quite have the closing speed to match the top two, though, and went 3:49.38 for third place and a 13th-place world ranking.
One event earlier, Stefania Pirozzi crushed the women’s 400 IM field, putting up the world’s third-fastest time of the year at 4:36.75. Pirozzi, 20 years old, now trails only Britain’s Aimee Willmott and Hannah Miley in the rankings.
The meet opened with the men’s 50 fly, where national record-holder Piero Codia went 23.85 to power away with things. Codia was still a solid .6 off his Italian record from last summer.
Federica Pellegrini added another win to her total this week, going 2:09.27 to top the 200 back field by a second and a half. Pellegrini’s time just snuck into the world’s top 5 for the year.
The men also swam the 200 back on day 3, with Christopher Ciccarese taking home the win in 1:57.21. That makes it two backstroke titles for Ciccarese, who won the 100 back earlier in the week. His time now sits 7th in the world ranks.
The final individual event of the session was the women’s 100 fly, where Italian record-holder Ilaria Bianchi went 58.27 to top 50 fly champ Silvia Di Pietro by a half second. Bianchi was 58.27, exactly a second off her national mark and ranking 9th in the world.