After a good first day at the 2013 Italian Spring National Championships in Riccione, Italy, the second day of this World Championship qualifying meet got even better, as 21-year old Matteo Rivolta got things revved up early with a new National Record.
In the men’s 100 fly, Rivolta and Piero Codia turned about equal at 50 meters. Coming home, though, Rivolta really took off on his first few strokes to blow away the field. He ultimately finished in 51.70, which cut almost half-a-second off of the 52.14 that Joseph Natullo swam in 2009.
That also makes Rivolta the first swimmer under 52 seconds world-wide this year, making him the world leader. If he repeats that swim in prelims and semi’s in Barcelona at the World Championships, it would likely make him a finalist. That would be Italy’s first ever finalist at Worlds in this race, which is surprising given their relative success overall.
In the men’s 100 breaststroke, one of the most anticipated battles of the meet, Fabio Scozzoli avenged the upset in the 50 by winning in 59.77. He was followed by his younger teammate Mattia Pesce in 1:00.37; both were under the FINA Automatic Qualifying Time in the event. Scozzoli is always a contender to medal in this race internationally, limited only by his ability to hit his best swims in the final rather than in the earlier rounds. He hit it for silver at Worlds in 2011; he missed at the Olympics in 2012.
Andrea Toniato was 3rd in 1:00.80, and Edoardo Giorgetti placed 4th in 1:00.81. Flavio Bizzarri was 5th in 1:01.30; that’s a best time for the 20-year old who specializes in the 200, which serves as a good indicator swim for the latter race.
In the women’s 100 free, Alice Mizzau won in 55.14, followed by Erika di Pietro in 55.76. The National Record holder Federica Pellegrini opted not to swim a race on Wednesday, despite a great 100 free relay split on Tuesday, but expect her to be given the option of swimming on this relay at Worlds anyway. The odds of Italy finaling without her is slim.
The other big swim on this day came from Federico Turrini in the men’s 400 IM, where he swam a 4:11.55 to blow away the field and place easily as the best in the world thus far in 2013. The runner-up was Luca Marin in 4:15.17. He set the National Record in this race in his early 20’s, but hasn’t been anywhere near that 4:09 in five years. Turrini’s time is the fastest by an Italian since 2008.
- Silvia di Pietro won the girls’ 50 fly in 26.75, about a second away from her National Record. Ilaria Bianchi was 2nd in 26.84.
- Giulia de Ascentis won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:28.16, exactly .01 seconds ahead of Lisa Fissneider and .06 seconds ahead of Elisa Celli. Fissneider and de Ascentis are both teenagers.
- Martina Caramignoli won the women’s non-Olympic 1500 in 16:17.48: ten seconds better than the runner-up. She turned at the 800 in 8:39.