Watch: Luca Dotto Breaks 100 Free Italian Record W/ 47.96 (Race Video)


  • Dates: Tuesday, April 19 – Saturday, April 23, 2016
  • Times: Prelims 9:00 am, Finals 5:00 pm
  • Location: Riccione, Italy (GMT +1, or 6 hours ahead of N.Y., 9 ahead of L.A.)
  • Results: Available
  • Olympic selection standards

Video courtesy Jerry Callisto and recap courtesy Anne Lepesant. 

Two days after winning the men’s 100 free on Day One of the 2016 Italian Assoluti National Championships and Olympic Trials with 48.40 (you can read our coverage here), Luca Dotto of Forestry became the first Italian man in history to break through the 48-second barrier leading off Forestry’s 400 free relay in 47.96.

There’s something about the leadoff of the men’s 400 free relay that brings out the best of Dotto. He did it last year as well when he led off Forestry’s 4×100 free relay in 48.40, which was .10 faster than Marco Orsi’s winning time in the individual event two days prior. This year Dotto’s repeat performance broke the Italian national record and vaulted him to Number 2 in the world for the season.

2015-2016 LCM Men 100 Free

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Dotto has improved both halves of his race over the last 12 months. His up-front speed is especially notable; since last year Dotto has taken .34 off the first leg of the 100.

For comparison, here are Dotto’s four swims from 2015 and 2016 Assoluti:

2016 Relay Leadoff 2016 100 Free 2015 Relay Leadoff 2015 100 free
22.72 22.98 23.06 23.19
25.24 25.42 25.34 25.85
47.96 48.40 (1st place) 48.40 49.04 (3rd place)

Dotto was already qualified for this summer’s Olympic Games in this event, but at .44 faster than his original qualifying time, he now looks like he could be among the finalists in Rio. At a minimum, he’ll need to slice another half second off his time to make the podium. Still, Dotto’s time would have put him on the third step of the podium at World Championships in Kazan last summer, and would have been 7th in the 100 free final at the 2012 Olympics in London.

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bobo gigi

After posting Dotto’s race video, I give you some other interesting races of these Italian championships.

Men’s 1500 free. Paltrinieri 14.42/Detti 14.46

bobo gigi

Men’s 100 fly. Rivolta 51.54/Codia 51.72

bobo gigi

Women’s 100 free. Pellegrini 53.78

About Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht

Hannah Hecht grew up in Kansas and spent most of her childhood trying to convince coaches to let her swim backstroke in freestyle sets. She took her passion to Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and swam at NAIA Nationals all four years. After graduating in 2015, she moved to …

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