2022 ITALIAN SPRING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 2022 Italian Spring Championships will conclude today with some of Italy’s biggest swim stars in their premiere events.
World Record holder Benedetta Pilato posted the #1 time in the world this year in the heats of the women’s 50 breaststroke, just 0.28 off her World Record mark. Simona Quadarella cruised into the top seed in the women’s 400 freestyle and is the heavy favorite–both Quadarella and Pilato are already World Championships-qualified in other events.
The men’s 400 IM and 50 breaststroke could offer new berths to the Italian worlds team, though the heavy favorite in the men’s 50 breast, Nicolo Martinenghi, is already qualified in the 100 breaststroke. Margherita Panziera will also look to punch her ticket to Budapest, though she’ll need a big swim near her Italian Record in the 200 backstroke to officially make the cut.
IM and butterfly superstar Alberto Razzetti, who has yet to qualify for the World Championships team, is the second seed in the 400 IM going into tonight’s final behind Pier Andrea Matteazzi. Razzetti is perhaps Italy’s best male IM’er since the days of Luca Marin and Alessio Boggiatto.
Women’s 50 Breaststroke
- Italian Record: 29.30, Benedetta Pilato, 05/22/2021, Budapest
- World Championships Cut: 30.20
- World Junior Champs Cut: 32.00
- Benedetta Pilato, 29.85 – World Championships Qualified
- Arianna Castiglioni, 30.34
- Lisa Angilioni, 31.02
Benedetta Pilato was slightly off her prelims time in the 50 breaststroke this morning, but still easily won the race and was the only swimmer under 30 seconds in the field. Arianna Castiglioni placed 2nd in 30.34, just off of the qualifying time for the World Championships set by the Italian Swimming Federation.
Pilato will have the opportunity to swim both the 50 and 100 breaststrokes at the World Championships in Budapest in June. Castiglioni and Agilioni, for their parts, swam under the FINA ‘A’ cut (31.22) but did not officially qualify for Worlds.
Men’s 50 Breaststroke
- Italian Record: 26.39, Nicolo Martinenghi, 04/02/2021, Riccione
- World Championships Cut: 26.90
- World Junior Champs Cut: 28.30
- Nicolo Martinenghi, 26.49 – World Championships Qualified
- Simone Cerasuolo, 26.85 – World Championships Qualified
- Fabio Scozzoli, 27.20
Nicolo Martinenghi did what was expected of him and won the men’s 50 breaststroke, though perhaps not by as large of a margin as might have been expected. Young up-and-comer Simone Cerasuolo blasted a 26.85 to tie Martinenghi’s Italian Junior Record with a 26.85 and place 2nd, qualifying for the 2022 World Championships team. Veteran Fabio Scozzoli placed 3rd in 27.20.
Women’s 400 Freestyle
- Italian Record: 3:59.15, Federica Pellegrini, 07/26/2009, Rome
- World Championships Cut: 4:05.40
- World Junior Champs Cut: 4:13.50
- Simona Quadarella, 4:08.95
- Antonietta Cesarano, 4:09.72
- Martina Caramignoli, 4:09.84
In a race that turned out to be much tighter than expected, Simona Quadarella pulled off the victory in the women’s 400 freestyle, posting a 4:08.95 to get her hand on the wall a little less than a second ahead of runner-up Antonietta Cesarano, who herself was just 0.12 ahead of bronze medalist Martina Caramignoli.
Pilato led the race from start to finish, though Cesarano was never far behind. Caramignoli, on the other hand, relied on a strong back-half to pull from 6th to 4th to 3rd to 2nd, turning nearly even with Cesarano, 3:39.97 to 3:40.00, respectively. Then, in the final 50 meters, Cesarano pulled slightly ahead and beat Caramignoli to the wall.
Though it is unlikely Cesarano will earn a trip to Budapest with the swim, Quadarella can confidently assume the 400 free will be added to her lineup as she is already qualified in the 800 and 1500 freestyles.
Men’s 400 IM
- Italian Record: 4:09.88, Luca Marin, 04/01/2007, Melbourne
- World Championships Cut: 4:11.80
- World Junior Champs Cut: 4:23.90
- Alberto Razzetti, 4:13.83
- Pier Andrea Matteazzi, 4:15.29
- Mattia Bondavalli, 4:20.13
Alberto Razzetti wasted no time asserting his dominance over the men’s 400 IM, taking the fly out in a 56.52, making him the only swimmer sub-58 on the opening 100. Pier Andrea Matteazzi nearly pulled slightly ahead of Razzetti on the backstroke, turning 3:03.82 to Razzetti’s 2:04.08. It was a close-fought battle over the breaststroke with the two still nearly even at the 300-meter turn, splitting 3:15.81 to 3:15.92, the lead still in Matteazzi’s hands. Razzetti finished with a strong freestyle, beating Matteazzi on the final 100 57.91 to 59.48.
Though it was a thrilling race to watch, neither man met the world championships cut set by the Italian Swimming Federation. They both, however, did swim under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 4:17.48.
Women’s 200 Backstroke
- Italian Record: 2:05.56, Margherita Panziera, 03/31/2021
- World Championships Cut: 2:08.30
- World Junior Champs Cut: 2:12.50
- Margherita Panziera, 2:08.63
- Alessia Bianchi, 2:12.84
- Martina Cenci, 2:13.05
Margheria Panziera won the women’s 200 backstroke in commanding fashion, despite finishing about 3 seconds off her lifetime best and Italian Record. Panziera fell just short of the world championship cut with her 2:08.63 Wednesday, though swam well under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 2:11.08.
Alessia Bianchi placed 2nd, almost exactly 4 seconds behind Panziera, who led from start to finish. Panziera and Bianchi were the only swimmers to take out the first 50 in under 30 seconds, though Panziera handily out-split the rest of the field over the next three 50s. In fact, Panziera’s 4th and final 50 was faster than any other swimmer’s 2nd 50. Panziera also won the women’s 100 backstroke on Tuesday, though fell short of the world championships qualifying time, despite also going under the FINA ‘A’ cut in the shorter distance.
Men’s 1500 Freestyle
- Italian Record: 14:33.10, Gregorio Paltrinieri, 08/13/2020, Rome
- World Championships Cut: 14:49.0
- World Junior Champs Cut: 15:25.0
- Gregorio Paltrinieri – 14:44.39
- Luca De Tullio – 15:00.36
- Domenico Acerenza – 15:00.65
After a fantastic 800 free two nights ago, distance ace Gregorio Paltrinieri clocked a 14:44.39 to handily win this race, marking his best time of 2022. Not only does the swim put Paltrinieri #2 in the world this year, his performance tonight was faster than his finals swim at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics last summer, where he finished 4th in 14:45.01. While the swim was a bit off Paltrinieri’s highest high of 14:33.10, he demonstrated once again tonight that he’s one of the premier distance swimmers in the world.
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He was on top of things the whole way through the race, splitting 4:52.34 on the first 500, then 4:56.07 on the 2nd 500, and 4:55.98 on the last 500.
Women’s 50 Butterfly
- Italian Record: 25.78, Silvia Di Pietro, 08/19/2014
- World Championships Cut: 25.70
- World Junior Champs Cut: 27.30
- Silvia Di Pietro – 26.08
- Viola Scotto Di Carlo – 26.40
- Elena Di Liddo – 26.56
Just as she was this morning, Silvia Di Pietro was in control of the 50 final tonight, speeding to a 26.08. The swim put her just 0.30 seconds off her Italian Record of 25.78, and although she was off the World Champs qualifying time of 25.70, she has risen to #6 in the world this year.
Men’s 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay
- Italian Record: 3:10.11, Miressi, Ceccon, Zazzeri, Frigo, 07/26/2021, Tokyo
- GS Flamme Oro – 3:14.61
- Flamme Gialle-Nuoto – 3:17.85
- Centro Sportivo Esercito – 3:18.28
Putting together a really solid 3:14.61, Thomas Ceccon, Manuel Frigo, Marco Orsi, and Alessandro Miressi teamed up to win the final event of these championships. Miressi, the 100 free champion and Italian Record holder in the 100 free, had the fastest split of anyone in the field tonight, anchoring in a speedy 47.76. Frigo split 48.60, while Ceccon led off in 49.04, and Orsi swam a 49.21.
Sem Andreis anchored his relay in a fiery 47.84, the 2nd-fastest split in the field.