Luca Urlando Swims His First 200 Fly Since Shoulder Injury 13 Months Ago

2023 U.S. OPEN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Former US National Team member Luca Urlando swam his first 200 butterfly since injuring his shoulder over a year ago on Saturday morning, posting a 1:57.85. That’s within three seconds of his last time, a 1:54.92 done in finals of the 2022 World Championships, but more importantly highlights that we might once again see him racing his best event in the future.

Urlando, only 21, has had multiple issues with his shoulder over the last three years, including most recently a dislocation mid-race at the 2022 World Aquatics World Cup Series.

While he returned to racing in June (apparently training with Arizona State, though he has declined to discuss that), that racing has been almost-entirely in freestyle events. He did swim one round of the 100 meter fly in July at the Arena Grand Challenge in Clovis, posting an Olympic Trials cut of 53.18.

Now with his 200 fly Trials cut on Saturday (and he didn’t scratch out of the race in finals), he’ll be eligible to swim both races next summer in Indianapolis.

In the meantime, he’s been swimming a lot of middle distance freestyle races, and performing well in them. Urlando has always been a good middle distance freestyler, but with more focus on freestyle presumably because it’s easier on his shoulder, he’s becoming a real threat to make the US team for Paris in a freestyle race.

He swam a best time in the 200 free at the TYR Pro Championships in July – 1:46.99, better than his 1:47.20 from 2021 Trials. At that same meet in the 400 free he swam 3:50.97. His best prior to that was a 3:52.96 from 2019 when he was still in high school.

And this week in Greensboro, he’s already surpassed both of those times – by a little in the 200 free (1:46.98) and by a lot in the 400 free (3:49.26).

He and his coaches will now have a decision to make: does her pursue the middle distance freestyles, where there’s an opening for the US team and where he looks really good, or do they build back toward the butterfly races, where there’s more competition, but which has always been ‘his thing’?

Either way, he at least now has options as he builds back confidence in his shoulders.

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M L
3 months ago

He’s ready to go 1:45 in the 2 free; a strong relay prospect at least. I hope he’ll at least race the 200 fly at trials even if he can’t train as much fly as before. His fitness and his underwaters will take him far in any event.

Last edited 3 months ago by M L
mcswammerstein
3 months ago

Wouldve love to seen an injury free career from this guy. glad hes sticking to it

Xman
3 months ago

Is he with ASU Pro group?

Bigboy21
Reply to  Xman
3 months ago

Yes, according to the ASU swimming news

Michael Andrew Wilson
3 months ago

Love seeing so many stars back near their top form this meet.

Last edited 3 months ago by Michael Andrew Wilson
Long Strokes
3 months ago

He got that dawg in him

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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