19-year old Italian swimmer Manuel Bortuzzo was injured in a shooting on Sunday morning in Rome. Bortuzzo trains at the federal training center in Ostia, under coach Stefano Marini, and in the same group as Olympic medalists Gregorio Paltrinieri and Gabriele Detti.
According to local reports, at around 2AM on Sunday morning he and some friends had gone out for a drink. The group passed a bar where, unbeknownst to Bortuzzo, half-an-hour earlier there had been a fight. Witnesses say a motorbike drove past the group with 2 men on it who fired at the group.
Police are reviewing CCTV footage of the incident and are investigating the theory that he may have been mistaken for someone else.
The Italian Swimming Federation says that the bullet stopped in the right side of the chest at the 11th vertebrae. While surgery ‘went well’ according to Italian journalist Beatrice Bortolin, doctors are being cautious about his condition for the next 48 hours.
Bortuzzo is a middle-to-distance specialist, with bests of 1:52.46 in the 200 free, 4:00.07 in the 400 free, and 15:44.43 in the 1500 free: all done in 2017-or-earlier.
Translated Statement by the Italian Swimming Federation
The swimming world prays for the young Manuel Bortuzzo. The parents of the athlete and the (Italian federation) president Paolo Barelli have been connected the San Camillo hospital, along with the national technical director Cesare Butini, coach Christian Galenda, the president of the Aurelia Nuoto Luigi Masciocchi, and other swimmers.
Federal coach Stefano Morini, at a camp in Sierra Nevada (Spain) with Gregorio Paltrinieri, Gabriele Detti , Domenico Acerenza, Ilaria Cusinato and the rest of the middle distance group, expressed concern and is being constantly updated.
Meanwhile, the surgery performed by the team led by prof. Delitala ended with the removal of the intact bullet, which stopped in the right side of the chest at the eleventh vertebra. The prognosis remains cautious for the next 48 hours.