IMPERIA, ITALY, Dec. 21. SANTA believed that several of the "little" girls and boys who swam in the final day of the Italian short course (25 meters)
Championships here this evening had trained very hard year long — so he brought them a slew of national records for Christmas.
On the meet's second day of competition, standards tumbled beneath the waves of the pool like ten pins, with three women's and one men's record getting
The initial ladies' mark to fall was the 200 butterfly, where Francesca Segat went a 2:10.95 to Paola Cavallino's 2:11.75 and Federica Biscia's
2:12.20. Biscia is the national record-holder in the lcm version of the 400 IM (4:45.85) from the World University Games in Beijing last Ausgust.
Sprinter Christina Chiuso then splashed to an NR in the 100 free (54.92), complementing her record-breaking 50 free win on Thursday (25.31). As in
the two-lapper, Lara Consolandi was runner-up in the 100 (55.36). She had clocked 25.47 for second in the 50.
Next to get Santa's gold-medal seal of approval (and an NR) was individual medleylist Giorgia Gramillano, whose 1:02.28 win broke the Italian record. A close second in 1:02.39 was Sara Parise, who earlier won the 200 IM (2:12.82) with Biscia next (2:13.22).
The final record went to flyer Luis Alberta Laera, who clocked a quick 24.90 in the 50. His 53.57 100 swim Thursday was also a pr-NR for the veteran of many national teams. Teammate Christian Gallenda's 1:55.50 for the 200 similarly was a pr-NR.
In a feat that is rather atypical, 400 IM world champion Alessio Boggiatto and his sister Chiara both won races on the final day, although not the same
one. Alessio won the 200 medley in 1:57.39 with Lorenzo Siriau second (1:59.28).
A few events earlier Chiara Boggiatto won the 200 breast (2:31.41), a race she also won at last summer's long-course championships. Her brother won the gold at Fukuoka this summer and was silver medalist at the Olympics in Sydney.
Freestyler Simona Ricciardi won her second gold of the meet when she clocked 4:09.71 to win the 400 free, adding to her 800 free win opening day. Enrico
Catalano won the 200 back (1:56.95), sprinter Michele Scarica the 50 free (22.32), Alessandra Cappa the 100 back (1:01.01 to 50 back winner Valemtina De Nardi's 1:01.25), and Christian Minotti took the mile (14:45.89).
Minotti's outdoor pr is 15:11.81 from last spring's World Championship Trials and he's hopeful of making a run at Olympic silver medalist(400 free) Emiliano Brembilla's national-record 14:58.65 from the European
Championships in Seville four years ago — possibly next summer in Berlin at the European Championships.
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When at full strength, Italy's men's team is a talented lot, with Brembilla, Rosolino, Boggiatto, Fioravanti, Rommulo, Galenda et al. Now if they could
just resurrect sprinter Marcello Guarducci and former 200 fre wr-holder Giorgio Lamberti and teach Alberto Tomba (La Bomba) how to swim they'd really be in business for Barcelona ('03 World Championships) and Athens ('04 Olympics).
– Bill Bell