Italian Trials Day 5: Righi’s All Right

LIVORNO, ITALY, April 12. MASSI Rosolino lost a race here today — but he still wore a big grin on his face afterwards.

On the fifth day of the Italian Nationals/World Championship Trials, the defending Olympic gold medalist in the 200 IM tried his hand at the mile in his first truly competitive long course effort at the distance and finished runner-up to Andrea Righi –15:07.93-15:09.28 — but still accomplished his objective.

Before the meet began Massi had said he intended to swim all the freestyle events from 200 through 1500 plus the 200 IM to "lay a good base" for Fukuoka, and he's proved a man of his word.

He was third in the 800 opening day in a pr 8:03+, then went 1:47.6 to win the 200 free the next day and 3:47.23 to win the 400 yesterday.

Although his 1500 time was inside the qualifying standard for the World Championships, Rosolino said he will not swim it in Japan. Rather his focus will be on the 200-400 frees and the 200 IM.

Righi's 15:07 was his pr and a nice drop from his previous best of 15:47.71 from last year — a time that ranked him 106th globally. In fact that 15:07 is the year's second-fastest 1500, only behind Australian Grant Hackett's 14:49+ from the Australian Trials last month. Hackett of course is the reigning Olympic champ.

Righi is on a roll. Opening day he went 7:57.02 for a national-record in the 800 free, then went 1:49+ in the 200 free and 3:50+ in the 400–both prs. It will be interesting to see how he fares against significantly tougher competition in Japan in his first major international competition, where he'll be a contender for a spot in several finals.

"Ageless" Emanuelle Merisi, at 29 still competing and still his country's best backstroker, won the 100 in 56.71 after swimming a 2:00.3+ to win the 200 a couple of days ago — but neither time makes the cut for a trip to Japan. Merisi's prs and NRs are 55.63 from the Atlanta Olympic and 1:57.70 from the Italian Winter Nationals five years ago at this same pool.

As recently as last year, Merisi ranked sixth globally in the 200 back (1:59.01 from the European Championships in Helsinki) but was decidedly uncompetitive here. However, in all likelihood he'll try to make the cuts at the Mare Nostrom Series next month in Spain, France and Monte Carlo and don't bet against him being on the team to Japan come July.

The other men's event winners were Olympic gold medalist Domenico Fioravanti in the 200 breast (2:14.74) with Davide Rommulo second (2:14.90), and Massi Eroli in the 200 fly (1:59.50). Fioravanti went a European and National Record 2:10.87 to win at Sydney, at that time third on the all-time performance list (second performer), but recently eclipsed by America's Ed Moses — who just missed breaking countryman Mike Barrowman's world-record 2:10.16 from the Barcelona Olympics.

When Moses, who broke the world 50 and 100 breaststroke records at the U.S. Trials last month, and Fioravanti renew their rivalry in Japan the waves will definitely be roiled big time. In fact it's quite posible they'll swim against each other during the Mare Nostrom Series but the import of a World Championships won't be present if they do renew
"acquaintances" next month.

Eroli's fly pr is 1:59.21 from last year's Winter Nationals. The Italian record is 1:58.60 by Andrea Oriana from the World Military Championships in August of 1998 at Rome. Oriana was runner-up today in 1:59.54.

–Bill Bell

RESULTS

MEN'S 100m BACKSTROKE
1. Merisi 56.71
2. Laera 57.23
3. Masnadi 57.85

WOMEN'S 100m BACKSTROKE
1. Cappa 1.03.82
2. Ioppi 1.04.53
3. Tavernini 1.05.09

MEN'S 200m BUTTERFLY
1. Eroli 1.59.50
2. Oriana 1.59.54
3. Boggiatto 2.00.46

WOMEN'S 200m BUTTERFLY
1. Cavallino 2.14.64
2. Rodà 2.15.48
3. Pedemonte 2.16.82

MEN'S 1500m FREESTYLE
1. Righi 15.07.93
2. Rosolino 15.09.28
3. Minotti 15.11.81
(note: Since Rosolino decided not to swim the 1500
in Fukuoka, Minotti will take his place, as
Minotti's time bettered the qualifying time for
the World Championships.)

WOMEN'S 200m BREASTSTROKE
1. Biscia 2.33.11
2. Farina 2.33.56
3. Boggiatto 2.38.30

MEN'S 200m BREASTSTROKE
1. Fioravanti 2.14.74
2. Rummolo 2.14.90
3. Angiollieri 2.16.80

WOMEN'S 200m FREESTYLE
1. Parise 2.01.13
2. Vianini 2.01.70
3. Striani 2.02.17

MEN'S 100m FREESTYLE
1. Vismara 49.24
2. Cercato 50.62
3. Lanzarini 50.77

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Author: Archive Team

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