Italian Men Dismantle Super-Suited National Record In 800 Free Relay


The Italian men broke their National Record in the final of the 800 free relay, producing a time of 7:02.01 to narrowly miss a medal.

The team of Filippo MegliGabriele DettiStefano Ballo and Stefano di Cola came together to erase the 10-year-old super-suited record of 7:03.48 set at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.

That ’09 foursome was made up of former 200 free NR holder Emiliano BrembillaGianluca MagliaMarco Belotti and two-time 100 free World Champion Filippo Magnini.


Italy, 2009 Worlds Italy, 2019 Worlds
Brembilla – 1:46.29 Megli – 1:45.86
Maglia – 1:45.85 Detti – 1:45.30
Belotti – 1:45.46 Ballo – 1:45.27
Magnini – 1:45.88 di Cola – 1:45.58
7:03.48 7:02.01

In the prelims, the squad comprised of Megli, Ballo, di Cola and Matteo Ciampi turned some heads by qualifying first for the final in 7:04.97, and then Detti was brought in for the final as they took a run at a spot on the podium.

Megli led off in 1:45.86, just off his National Record of 1:45.67 from the individual event, and then Detti (1:45.30) and Ballo (1:45.27) brought them up into third at the final exchange.

In a wild five-team race on the anchor leg, di Cola put up an impressive 1:45.58 split, but got overtaken by American Townley Haas to leave them on the outside looking in, 0.03 off of the bronze medal.

Australia ended up receiving the top flying split in the field from Mack Horton (1:44.85) on the anchor as they won in 7:00.85, while Russia (7:01.81) and the U.S. (7:01.98) picked up the minor medals while Italy and two-time defending champion Great Britain (7:02.04) missed out.

This is the third Italian relay record to fall through six days of competition, as they also went down in the men’s 400 free (3:11.39) and the mixed 400 medley (3:43.27). We’ve also seen an additional eight individual records fall.

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1 year ago

Young blood and seasoned veterans are making Italy formidable foes for both men and women

1 year ago

By definition everything started with Novella Calligaris and Giorgio Lamberti. They have been pioneers for Italy regarding swimming. With Olympic Games of 2000 we proved a deeper team spread in different styles (breastroke and medley among all). In 19 years, finally there is a solid movement with a good turnover among young and veterans and a good depth in more or less all events. Of course relays are strong and can fight for a medal. It’s not cooky to say that now we are a Tier 1 country regarding swimming

Pay Hana
Reply to  Mcitaly697
1 year ago

Stefano Battistelli? First Italian man to win an Olympic medal I believe and was on the strong 4×200 relays with Lamberti during that period.

1 year ago

Imma reread Gold in the Water and bet back here. I recall a breaststroker from 2000…

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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