Disclaimer: Dolfin 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 Dolfin 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.
Italy’s Margherita Panziera had a breakout 2018 – and she’s making sure that season is no one-hit wonder.
The 2018 European champ in the 200 back, Panziera is continuing to dominate all comers in that event. At last weekend’s FINA Champions Series, Panziera blew out a 200 back field that included 2016 Olympic champ Katinka Hosszu and 2017 World champ Emily Seebohm. Panziera beat Hosszu by 1.7 seconds and Seebohm by 2.4 seconds, going 2:06.41.
Panziera is already the world leader this season with her 2:05.72 from the Italian championships – that time is the Italian record and the best time in the world this year by two tenths. But Panziera’s 2:06.41 last week is also impressive, especially compared to last summer’s full-season performances.
Panziera’s time from the FINA Champions Series would have been 5th in the world last year, behind only Kylie Masse, Kathleen Baker, Taylor Ruck and Panziera’s own European champs time. It would have tied for silver at Pan Pacs, taken silver at Euros (behind only her own gold-medal winning swim), won silver at Commonwealths and taken gold at Asian Games by more than a second. With the top swimmers from each of those four meets coming together this summer, Panziera is in great position to challenge for a World Championships gold medal, which would be not only her first world title in short course or long course, it’d be her first long course World Championships medal of any kind.
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