Four Italian swimmers were invited to participate at the second stop of the FINA Champions Swim Series, that took place the 11-12 May in Budapest (Hungary). Margherita Panziera, Piero Codia, Fabio Scozzoli and Federica Pellegrini swam in Budapest, collecting a total of 5 medals racing against the best swimmers of the world. The Italian stars earned their invitations to swim at the new FINA competition after winning medals in the European Championships 2018 or the World Championships 2019. SwimSwam had the pleasure to talk with them in order to find out the secret of their success.
Panziera: “The team that I have this year makes me train better and better“
Margherita Panziera became European champion last year in Glasgow in the 200m backstroke in a time of 2:06.18, clocking a new Italian record and breaking the legendary Championship record from Krisztina Egerszegi, set in 1991. In addition, Panziera broke her own italian record in 2:05.72 at the Italian World Championship trials in April this year. The 23-year-old also won the 200 back in Budapest, putting an excellent effort of 2:06.41.
When asked about her improvements during the last and the current year, Panziera answered: “I started training better and the team that I have this year makes me laugh, makes me improve and training better and better. (…) In my team there are mostly men“. Talking about her expectations for the Worlds this summer, she explains: “I won’t say anything, let’s hope for a medal. Two years ago I was here at the World Championships in Budapest and I arrived 14th, and this year if I win a medal it’s really enough for me. But if I win it’s better.”
Experience and mental training helped Piero Codia to improve his times last season
Piero Codia won gold in the 100m butterfly at the European Championships in Glasgow, breaking the Italian and Championship records in a massive effort of 50.64. “I didn’t really change anything, I worked a lot like every year and I am very happy for the European Championships. I keep working in this mode and we will se what I can do this year. (…) Maybe I changed the mental training and I have more experience year after year.“, explained the 29-year-old when asked about the secret of his high performance last year.
Scozzoli: “I am maybe in the best shape of my career“
Fabio Scozzoli won the silver medal in 50m breaststroke at last year’s European Championships, placing only behind Adam Peaty in a time of 26.79. This year, the veteran breaststroker dropped even more his national record to 26.73. In Budapest, the 30-year-old won gold in 100m breast in 59.05, a new personal best and just 0.04 off the Italian record, in the hands of Nicolò Martinenghi. “This is not really in my mind, I’m just trying to do my best, working really hard and I am maybe in the best shape of my career, even if I’m over 30. So I am really happy with it, we’re working for doing every time better and we’ll see“, said Scozzoli about the possibility of breaking the Italian record this season. When asked if he tapered for this meet, he replied: “Not really, of course I am not in full training, but I am working a lot. This week I swam a little bit less and tapered a bit in the gym. Of course this is a good competition and I wanna do my best.”