Zazz the Polymath Swims One of the Fastest Relay Splits in History in Kazan


Lorenzo Zazzeri, whose star first rose to prominence during the pandemic because of his artwork, not his swimming, continues to build a massive athletic resume after swimming one of the fastest short course meters splits in history on Tuesday.

Swimming the 3rd leg of Italy’s 200 free relay, Zazzeri split 20.24. That ties him as the 8th-fastest 50 short course meter freestyle on a relay split since at least 2010*, and as the 6th-best performer in that category.

Fastest 50 SCM Freestyle Splits since at least 2010*:

1 20.04 Florent Manaudou FRA 2014 SC Worlds 12/4/2014 Doha
2 20.08 Cesar Cielo BRA 2014 SC Worlds 12/4/2014 Doha
3 20.09 Caeleb Dressel USA 2018 SC Worlds 12/13/2018 Hangzhou
3 20.09 Florent Manaudou FRA 2019 SC Euros 12/7/2019 Glasgow
5 20.18 Florent Manaudou FRA 2012 SC Euros 11/22/2012 Chartres
6 20.2 Ari-Pekka Liukkonen FIN 2015 SC Euros 12/2/2015 Netanya
7 20.22 Evgeny Rylov RUS 2018 SC Worlds 12/15/2018 Hangzhou
8 20.24 Vladimir Morozov RUS 2017 SC Euros 12/17/2017 Copenhagen
8 2024 Lorenzo Zazzeri ITA 2021 SC Euros 11/2/2021 Kazan
10 20.25 Ryan Held USA 2018 SC Worlds 12/14/2018 Hangzhou

Note: there were some sub-20 second splits in 2008 and 2009 during the super-suit era, including two on the same French relay in 2008: Amaury Leveaux split 19.93 and Fred Bousquet split 19.87. FINA never ratified the World Record setting relay that those splits were swum in, because of the suits that were being worn at the time, so do we count the splits? That’s probably a personal decision.

Most of the names ahead of Zazzeri on that list carry substantially more weight than he does. Manaudou, Cielo, and Dressel are all Olympic gold medalists in the 50 free and current or former World Record holders. Rylov is the defending Olympic gold medalist in both the 100 and 200 backstrokes, while Liukkonen is the defending European Champion in the 50 free in long course.

Based on splits of that relay alone (both rolling starts and flat starts), and Zazzeri’s modestly-fast reaction time of .19, that puts him in line for his first major international gold medal later in the meet in the individual 50 free, where he’s the 17th seed.

Zazzeri has lots of minor medals from major meets in his trophy case, including a silver medal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics where his 47.31 split on Italy’s 400 free relay was their fastest.

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Just give the trophy to the condors already
9 months ago

The 2 fastest splits in history were both set at Euro champs in Croatia in 2008:
1. Fred BOUSQUET 19.87
2. Amaury LEVEAUX 19.93

Performance enhancing supersuits

Both rubberized. 👎👎

NornIron Swim
9 months ago

If this is a textile list then maybe it’s correct. I don’t know.
But at Euros 2008 both Leveaux and Bousquet split sub 20 One went 19.87 I think.

NornIron Swim
Reply to  Braden Keith
9 months ago

Ahh right. Cheers! I had the Omega timing sheet for years because it was so ridiculous to see 2 19 points never mind 1!

Last edited 9 months ago by NornIron Swim
NornIron Swim
Reply to  Braden Keith
9 months ago

Rousing!! 😀
I mentioned on another thread but there was chat Leveaux wore 2 suits at times during that meet. Just to stoke the debate further!

Reply to  NornIron Swim
9 months ago

Dressel is capable of going sub 20 from a flat start easy. Hopefully in the ISL final.

M d e
Reply to  Swimfan
9 months ago

Except he couldn’t in an illegal suit.

Not saying he isn’t capable, but it certainly won’t be easy.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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