A great Italian Spring Nationals meet came to a bit of an anti-climactic close on the final day, with only a few World Championship qualifiers, and no times that are going to blow anyone away, but there were still many notable swims (especially from the youth ranks).
The biggest was a National 17 & under Record from Flavio Bizzarri in the men’s 200 breaststroke. His time of 2:12.42 ranks in the top 20 in the World this year, and adds him to the list of swimmers who will be headed to Shanghai this summer. This title comes on the back of his Youth Olympic Games gold from last summer.
After stretching herself down to a 100 free National Championship earlier in the meet, Federica Pellegrini moved up a distance to add an 800 free title to her belt (making the total 4 individuals on the meet). Her winning time was 8:31.08, though this is another instance where (as we discussed on day 3) Alessia Filippi (the 2009 bronze medalist) will have a chance to earn a spot at a later meet. Watching that swim closely will be the runner-up from this meet, Rachele Bruni. Her 8:35.01 is a FINA A-time, but she might be the odd man out. In 2009, Pellegrini entered this event in Rome but declared a false-start on the deck. It’s also possible that she’ll drop this from her Shanghai schedule prior to selections, leaving the option open for Bruni to swim the meet at the Federation’s discretion.
In the women’s 200 IM, Alessia Polieri took her second IM title of the meet in 2:14.37. That time easily clears the FINA A-standard. She’s only 16 and already has 8 career National Titles under her belt. Polieri is a name on the rise in a huge way. Gian Luca in the men’s 200 freestyle earned his spot in the final race of the meet with a time of 1:48.60.
Among other event champions who didn’t earn FINA cuts:
Niccolo Beni took his first title in the 200 fly (1:57.82), which is by far his best event-he finished no higher than 8th in any other event). Mirco di Tora just barely missed the FINA A-cut by .01 with his 50 back winning time of 25.35, which ranks 15th in the world this year. Given that he also won the 100 back, it’s likely that he will be entered in this race as well.
Chiara Boggiatto completed her sweep of the breaststroke events with a winning 100 time of 1:09.74. Her 200 time from earlier in the meet earned her spot in Shanghai. And finally, in the women’s 50 free, Erika Ferraioli took her first title of the meet in 25.98.