The Italian swimming federation has proposed confirming five athletes to the Olympic team before next month’s qualifying meet. Athletes are publicly criticizing the federation over the proposal.
Italy’s swimming federation, Federnuoto, published a press release this week announcing the proposal. Technical director Cesare Butini will propose the following five swimmers be added to the Olympic roster for 2021:
- Federico Burdisso
- Martina Caramignoli
- Gabriele Detti
- Marco de Tulio
- Federica Pellegrini
The release says that the proposal “takes into account the performances obtained” during the Sette Colli Trophy from August. It appears Detti (400 free), de Tullio (400 free), Burdisso (200 fly) and Caramignoli (1500 free) had top-3 world ranks as of their swims at the Sette Colli Trophy. Pellegrini appears to be added based on her 2019 World Championships gold in the 200 free.
But athletes have been very critical of the proposal. 2012 Olympian Fabio Scozzoli posted two critical Instagram stories today.
“We tell athletes after three months that a competition was valid for Olympic qualification?” Scozzoli asks, in rough translation from the Italian.
“I’m not saying at all that the athletes in question don’t deserve it,” Scozzol writes in his second story. “But with those criteria, other athletes deserve it as much as they do!”
Even Pellegrini, a beneficiary of the proposal, posted on Instagram “I’ll win it in the field, as I have always done!!!”
The proposal comes less than a month before the Italian Championships, which will serve as an Olympic qualifying event, with a set of Olympic qualifying times already established. Four athletes hit Olympic qualifying times at the 2019 Championships, and they are already qualified for the Olympics: Gregorio Paltrinieri, Simona Quadarella, Nicolo Martinenghi and Margherita Panziera.