RICCIONE, Italy, April 9. THE first night of action at the Italian Long Course Nationals featured a world-leading time as well as plenty of other swift swims.
2012 European Champs 100 breast bronze medalist Mattia Pesce posted a world-leader in the men's 50-meter breaststroke as he topped Fabio Scozzoli, 27.32 to 27.38, in the finale. Heading into the meet, Damir Dugonjic had owned the top time in the world with a 27.33 from the Eindhoven Swim Cup. Scozzoli also now stands fourth this year, behind Christian Sprenger's 27.37 from the BHP Aquatic Series in Australia. Edoardo Giorgetti touched third in 27.84.
Gregorio Paltrinieri and Gabriele Detti put on a show in the men's 800-meter freestyle as both surpassed Federico Colbertaldo's meet record of 7:49.98. Paltrinieri won the race in 7:48.22, while Detti touched second in 7:48.43. The times put the pair into the top five this year. Ryan Cochrane (7:43.61) and Sun Yang (7:45.60) also have been in the 7:40s. Luca Baggio took third in 7:55.83 tonight.
Luca Dotto cleared 49 seconds to win the men's 100-meter free in 48.46. So far this year, Dotto now stands third in the world behind Nathan Adrian (48.11) and James Magnussen (48.38), just missing Luca Leonardi's meet record of 48.45 from 2009. Leonardi, meanwhile, took second in 49.13, while Marco Orsi claimed third in 49.14. Olympic bronze medalist Filippo Magnini wound up forth in 49.20.
Stefania Pirozzi moved into the top 10 in the world this year in the women's 200-meter fly with a 2:08.75, while Alessia Polieri finished a distant second in 2:13.15. Emanuela Albenzi pocketed third in 2:13.60.
Federica Pellegrini cruised to a winning time of 1:00.69 in the women's 100-meter backstroke as the Olympic gold medalist is beginning to return to form in anticipation of the 2013 World Championship in Barcelona. Elena Gemo touched second in 1:01.55, while Arianna Barbieri placed third in 1:01.62.
Matteo Milli touched out Damiano Lestingi in the men's 100-meter backstroke, 54.73 to 54.88, for the win. Those times pushed Milli and Lestingi among the top 20 so far in the early part of this season. Fabio Laugeni wrapped up the podium with a third-place time of 55.17.
Martina De Memme won the women's 400-meter freestyle by more than a second with a 4:10.54 for the title, while Martina Rita Caramignoli placed second in 4:12.02. Aurora Ponsele picked up third-place honors in 4:12.32.
In relay action, Erika Ferraioli (55.52), Alice Nesti (56.94), Alice Carpanese (56.08) and Laura Letrari (55.64) won the women's 400-meter freestyle relay with a time of 3:44.18.