Silvia Scalia Hits Worlds Qualifying Mark After Near Miss at Italian SC Championships


After narrowly missing out on a Worlds qualifying time during the opening day of the Italian Short Course Championships, Silvia Scalia booked her ticket to Melbourne next month with a 100-meter backstroke victory on Friday.

The 27-year-old triumphed by more than a second with a time of 56.78, dipping under 57 seconds for the first time and achieving her first Worlds standard. Her previous best was a 57.15 from the European Short Course Championships last November, and she dropped nearly a second from last month’s World Cup stop in Berlin. Scalia sits just .21 seconds away from the national record set by Margherita Panziera in 2019.

On Thursday, Scalia won the 50 back title in 26.54, just .15 seconds away from a Worlds cut.

“Usually the 50 backstroke comes easily to me, because it falls within my characteristics,” Scalia told Italian media. “This time it went differently probably because of so much work done on the 100. It’s fine this way also because this is Olympic distance and a very good signal in view of the long-course season.”

After her second win of the week in Riccione, she credited retired legend Frederica Pellegrini’s presence during practice as one of the factors contributing to her success.

“In Verona I am living my daily life with tranquility,” Scalia said. “Federica (Pellegrini) is sometimes present and trains with us even though she has retired. Her presence is there anyway. I think Matteo (Giunta) can be satisfied with what I have achieved and also with the feedback from our working group.”

Also earning a Worlds berth was 30-year-old Matteo Rivolta, who touched exactly a tenth of a second before the qualifying standard in the 100 fly (49.49). Rivolta is the national record holder in the event from the International Swimming League season a year ago.

Reigning 100 breast world champion Benedetta Pilato had already secured her spot on the roster by virtue of her performance this summer in Budapest, but she still hit a Worlds cut in the 50 breast (29.71) for good measure during the morning session on Friday.

Lorenzo Mora went under the Worlds qualifying mark when he won the 200 back (1:50.23) by more than four seconds on Friday evening, but he had previously punched his ticket to Australia on Thursday by winning the 100 back (49.98). The 24-year-old made noise last week at the Nico Sapio Trophy, breaking a pair of national records in the men’s backstroke events.

In a thrilling 50 free battle, Leonardo Deplano (21.38) edged Alessandro Miressi (21.40) by just .02 seconds.

Friday’s Winners


  • Women’s 400 IM – Sara Francheschi, 4:32.74
  • Women’s 50 fly – Silvia di Pietro, 25.47
  • Men’s 200 free – Marco De Tullio, 1:44.21
  • Women’s 50 breast – Benedetta Pilato, 29.71
  • Men’s 100 breast – Simone Cerasuolo, 57.04
  • Women’s 400 free – Giordana Artic, 4:07.46
  • Men’s 100 fly – Matteo Rivolta, 49.49
  • Men’s 50 back – Lorenzo Mora, 23.25


  • Women’s 100 IM – Costanza Cocconcelli, 59.24
  • Women’s 200 fly – Ilaria Cusinato, 2:06.09
  • Men’s 200 back – Lorenzo Mora, 1:50.23
  • Women’s 200 breast – Martina Carraro, 2:21.11
  • Men’s 50 free – Leonardo Deplano, 21.38
  • Women’s 100 back – Silvia Scalia, 56.78
  • Men’s 800 free – Davide Marchello, 7:41.49
  • Women’s 1500 free – Simona Quadarella, 15:41.79
  • Men’s 200 IM – Alberto Razzetti, 1:54.06
  • Women’s 100 free – Chiara Tarantino, 53.35

Pre-Qualified Swimmers

Day 1 Qualifiers

Day 2 Qualifiers

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John Hueth
19 days ago

She can swim in my pool any day!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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