Top Storylines to Follow at the 2024 Sette Colli Trophy This Weekend

2024 Sette Colli Trophy

Nearly 1,000 swimmers from 51 countries will converge on Rome’s Foro Italico Stadium this weekend for the 60th edition of the Sette Colli Trophy.

For some international stars, the meet will serve as a tune-up before the Paris Olympics next month. For others, it’s their last chance to qualify before the June 23 deadline.

Olympic medal contenders such as Sarah Sjostrom, Siobhan Haughey, Marrit Steenbergen, Adam Peaty, Ben Proud, Matthew Richards, Ruta Meilutyte, Daniel Wiffen, Florian Wellbrock, and Daiya Seto will be in attendance. Here are some of the main storylines to follow:

Penny Oleksiak‘s Quest for Olympic ‘A’ Cut in 100 Free

Penny Oleksiak posted her fastest 100 freestyle since 2022 at Canadian Trials last month, but her winning time of 53.66 barely missed the Olympic ‘A’ cut by .05 seconds — will she earn a last-minute individual berth here in Rome?

At 24 years old, she’s already Canada’s most decorated Olympian ever with seven medals and will be searching for an eighth as a member of her nation’s 4×100 free relay. Oleksiak captured gold in the 100 free at the Rio 2016 Olympics before missing the podium by just .07 seconds a few years ago in Tokyo. She underwent knee surgery in 2022 that kept her out of the 2023 World Championships.

New Mom Katinka Hosszu Eyes 6th Olympics

Qualifying for six Olympics is a tall enough task as it is — only four swimmers (Turkey’s Derya Buyukuncu, Sweden’s Lars Frolander, Sweden’s Therese Alshammar, and Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli have ever accomplished the feat.

Five-time Hungarian Olympian Katinka Hosszu is aiming to join that exclusive quartet less than a year removed from giving birth to her first child last August. After almost two years away from competition, she returned at April’s Hungarian Championships in the 200 IM (2:15.50), 400 IM (4:47.62), and 100 butterfly (1:02.68). Now 35 years old, Hosszu lowered her season bests in the 200 IM (2:14.37) and 400 IM (4:43.66) at the AP Race London International meet last month. She’s about three seconds shy of the Olympic qualifying time in the 200 IM (2:11.47) and five seconds short of the standard in the 400 IM (4:38.53).

Adam Peaty Continues Comeback With Olympic 3-Peat in Sight

Adam Peaty blasted his fastest 100 breast in almost three years at April’s British Championships, dipping under the 58-second mark for the 21st time in his career since becoming the first man to do so back in 2015. His season-best 57.94 ranks 2nd in the world this season behind only China’s Qin Haiyang (57.69).

After defending his Olympic title in the 100 breast a few years ago in Tokyo (57.37), Peaty missed Worlds in 2022 and 2023 before earning bronze at 2024 Worlds in February (59.10). His performance at April’s British Championships is promising, but he’ll still need to be in peak form this weekend in order to pull out a victory against 2023 Worlds medalists Arno Kamminga and Nicolo Martinenghi.

Next month in Paris, Peaty will attempt to become just the second male swimmer to three-peat in the same event at the Olympics after Michael Phelps did so in both the 100 fly (2004-12) and 200 IM (2004-16).

Haughey vs. Steenbergen: Women’s 100 Free World Title Rematch

The two fastest women in the 100 freestyle this season, Hong Kong’s Siobhan Haughey (52.02 last October) and the Netherlands’ Marrit Steenbergen (52.26 in February) will face off on Saturday. It will be a chance for Haughey to avenge her runner-up finish at the 2024 World Championships (52.56) a few tenths behind Steenbergen (52.26).

At the 2023 World Championships, Haughey took silver in 52.49, behind Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan (52.16) and ahead of bronze medalist Steenbergen (52.71). Haughey is the reigning Olympic silver medalist from Tokyo (52.27) in 2021.

Sarah Sjostrom is also entered in the 100 free as the No. 2 seed with her 52.24 from her 4×100 free relay leadoff at 2023 Worlds. However, she is likely to focus her energy on the 50 free (23.61, No. 1 seed) and 50 fly (24.63, No. 1 seed) after she said she won’t swim the 100 free at the Paris Olympics.

Ruta Meilutyte Returns to Competition 2 Months After Surgery

Ruta Meilutyte‘s resurgence was one of the best stories at the 2023 World Championships, reclaiming the 100 breast title a full decade after her first one. She clocked a time of 1:04.62, the eighth-fastest swim of all time.

However, Meilutyte had a rough start to this year. She missed the 100 breast semifinals at February’s 2024 World Championships with a 17th-place finish (1:07.79), then underwent surgery on her left foot immediately after the meet. The 27-year-old Lithuanian returned to training in early April after a quick rehabilitation process.

Does the 2012 London Olympic gold medalist have another comeback still in her? This weekend should be a good litmus test as she takes on a tough field featuring Italy’s Benedetta Pilato (1:05.75), Netherlands’ Tes Schouten (1:05.82), and and Sweden’s Sophie Hansson (1:05.83)

Other Races to Watch

  • The men’s 200 IM includes three men ranked inside the top 10 this season. Italy’s Alberto Razzetti (1:56.21, No. 6), Britain’s Tom Dean (1:56.44, No. 7), and Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:56.87, No. 8) are expected to battle for the podium in Rome, with Dean the top seed at 1:56.07 from his 3rd-place finish at the 2023 World Championships.
  • Four men own 200 free entry times in the 1:44 range: Lukas Maertens is seeded 1st with his world-leading 1:44.14 from April, just ahead of the British trio of Matthew Richards (1:44.30), Tom Dean (1:44.32), and Duncan Scott (1:44.75). Richards is ranked 3rd this season (1:44.69 from April), Scott is ranked 5th (1:44.75 from April), and Dean is ranked 9th (1:45.09 from April).
  • Speaking of Maertens, he’s one of a few men who could challenge SCM world record holder Daniel Wiffen in the 800 free along with German teammate Sven Schwarz and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri. Notably, Maertens is not entered in the 400 free, where he owns a world-leading mark of 3:40.33 from April.
  • The men’s 1500 free is shaping up to be another rematch of the 2024 World Championships, with Wiffen seeded 1st (14:34.07) ahead of Paltrinieri (14:41.31) and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock (14:42.28). Wiffen beat Wellbrock (14:44.61) at 2024 Worlds.
  • Reigning Italian world champion Simona Quadarella is the top seed in the 800 free (8:16.46) and 1500 free (15:43.31), but Germany’s Isabel Gose (8:17.53/15:52.02) isn’t too far behind. Quadarella won world titles in 800 free (8:17.44) and 1500 free (15:46.99) at February’s 2024 Worlds, ranking her 5th and 2nd in the world this season, respectively.
  • Italian world record holder Thomas Ceccon could be on upset watch in his signature 100 back event from Oliver Morgan, who broke the British record at 52.70 in April. Ceccon has only contested the 100 back once this calendar year — a 52.99 at the Acropolis Swim Open in April — but he ranks 3rd this season courtesy of his 52.27 from last October.

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21 days ago

Jonny Marshall 👀

21 days ago


21 days ago

As per Devin Heroux of CBC, joining Oleksiak in Rome are Mary Sophie Harvey and Jeremy Bagshaw.

As well in Vancouver this weekend MacNeil, Liendo, Knox, Ruck, Kharun, and Acevedo will be swimming at the Mel Zajac meet.

Bo Swims

Kylie racing low key prelims at Spanish Nationals

21 days ago

I still don’t understand why Penny is swimming at Sette Colli in Europe instead of just going to Mel Zajac in the same timezone as where she trains

Last edited 21 days ago by Ploki
Reply to  Ploki
21 days ago

MSH is there with Penny and could also be trying to qualify for the 100 free since she swam 53.71 at the trials last month.

Reply to  Ploki
21 days ago

Is Mel Zajac an Olympic qualifying meet? If not then that would be why I guess.

If so, maybe she’s just staying in Europe until the Olympics

Bo Swims
Reply to  Sub13
21 days ago

Both are designated meets

Reply to  Ploki
21 days ago

Higher level of competitors to push her to the QT?

Greg Arkhurst (MSH’s coach) seems really popular with the athletes, maybe she felt she would swim well with his group?

Wanted to get over to Europe early to acclimatize? (I think the Canadian group there is staying through to the staging camp)

21 days ago

Scott is also in the 200, just for some reason not entered on his 1.44 from trials.

Brit swim fan
21 days ago

‘Peaty took bronze at the 2022 World Championships’

Peaty actually was injured for 2022 worlds. Fink took the bronze.

21 days ago

Meet is more stacked that Euros. How can we watch?

Reply to  Troyy
21 days ago

On demand:

You need to set the VPN to Italy. Start at 18 Central European Time.

Reply to  Troyy
21 days ago

Italian Swimming Federation have a youtube livestream for it

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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