Italy Strikes Gold For the First Time in a Worlds Relay (Day 8 Euro Recap)


The Italian men pulled off a big upset in the men’s 4×100 medley relay on the last night of 2022 Worlds, beating the U.S by .28 seconds, 3:27.51 to 3:27.79.

Not only is this the first time that Italy has won gold at Worlds in a medley relay, it’s also the first time they’ve ever won a relay event at a World Championships.

They’ve medaled seven times; winning three silvers and four bronze medals throughout the history of Worlds.

History of Italian Relay Medals at the World Championships 

Year Medal Event Team Time
1975 Bronze Men’s 4×100 Free Roberto Pangaro, Paolo Barelli, Claudio Zei, Marcello Guarducci 3:31.85
1991 Bronze Men’s 4×200 Free Emanuele Idini, Roberto Gleria, Stefano Battistelli, Giorgio Lamberti 7:17.18
2001 Silver Men’s 4×200 Free Emiliano Brembilla, Matteo Pelliciari, Andrea Beccari, Massimiliano Rosolino 7:10.86
2007 Silver Men’s 4×100 Free Massimiliano Rosolino, Alessandro Calvi, Christian Galenda, Filippo Magnini 3:14.04
2015 Bronze Men’s 4×100 Free Luca Dotto, Marco Orsi, Michele Santucci, Filippo Magnini 3:12.53
2015 Silver Women’s 4×200 Free Alice Mizzau, Erica Musso, Chiara Masini Luccetti, Federica Pellegrini 7:48.41
2022 Bronze Men’s 4×100 Free Alessandro Miressi, Thomas Ceccon, Lorenzo Zazzeri, Manuel Frigo 3:10.95

They finally claimed the top step of the podium in spectacular fashion, equaling the European record that Great Britain set at the Tokyo Games.

Thomas Ceccon led off the relay, clocking 51.93 on the backstroke leg to put the Italians in the lead. They led at each exchange, with Ceccon and 100 breast champ Nicolo Martinenghi widening the lead, and Federico Burdisso and Alessandro Miressi holding on for the win.

Ceccon’s time makes him the third man (along with Ryan Murphy and Evgeny Rylov) to go under 52 seconds at least twice. This medal also brings him up to a total of four at this Worlds, making him the most decorated Italian at a single World Championships.

These four Italian men have made big improvements over the past couple years, which was on display here. This is the same quartet that took bronze in Tokyo. Ceccon, Martinenghi, and Burdisso all dropped from their splits while Miressi was .01 off  as they traded in Olympic bronze for Worlds gold.

The relay win caps off an incredible Worlds for the Italian team. On the final day, they won three more medals (two gold, 1 silver) to bring their medal count up to 9. That’s the most medals they’ve won at a single Worlds, surpassing the 8 they won in 2019. Nicolo Martinenghi highlighted Italy’s strong performance, saying that “before the race we said that Italy had a perfect championship, and we should finish it perfectly as well… as a team we did really well, I’m really happy for everyone, here friendship comes first before being teammates. That’s why it feels so good to share this gold with my friends.”

Quick Hits

  • Gregorio Paltrinieri blasted out to an early lead in the men’s 1500 free like he usually does but then…he just kept going, extending his lead as the race went on. The world record line swam away from him in the final 50, but he got the entire crowd on their feet as he won handily in 14:32.80. That’s the second fastest swim of all-time and a new European record.
  • Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte had an excellent comeback to the international stage after retiring three years ago. First, she won bronze in the 100 breast, then tonight she took gold in the 50 breast.
  • The Polish squad had a strong final session, grabbing two medals. First, Ksawery Masiuk took bronze in the 50 back in 24.49. He’s had a strong meet, setting national records in the 50 and 100 backstroke at just 17 years old. Then, Kasia Wasick won silver in the women’s 50 free. That’s the first medal for Poland in the event.
  • Sarah Sjostrom claimed her second gold of the meet, this time in the women’s 50 free, where she went 23.98 to win by .20 seconds. This is her 10th individual Worlds gold medal, moving her into a tie with Ryan Lochte for most total individual Worlds wins.

Other National Records on Day 8

Final European Medal Table

Gold Silver Bronze Total Medals
Italy 5 2 2 9
France 2 4 2 8
Sweden 2 2 0 4
Hungary 2 0 0 2
Romania 2 0 0 2
Great Britain 1 1 3 5
Lithuania 1 0 1 2
Germany 0 2 0 2
Netherlands 0 1 1 2
Poland 0 1 1 2
Ukraine 0 0 1 1

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1 year ago

I don’t understand why this was such a massive upset?

You have the WR holder in the back, the winner of the breast, and a freestyler who’s split 47.50 this week (split 47.48 in this swim). Murph was off, but our middle 2 swimmers did great, and held was a little off, but not much. If we’re going to say Burdisso was totally unexpected and all the predictions had him going 51 mid instead of 50., then fine, but this race was going to VERY competitive no matter what, if not dead even on paper.

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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