BOLZANO, Italy, October 9. UNITED States superstar Natalie Coughlin will have top billing at the Bolzano International Swim Meet in Italy again this year. After taking last year off, Coughlin is back for her third time at the meet.
The Bolzano meet is a two-day event Nov. 9-10, positioned just a month prior to the European Short Course Championships, the meet is set up to provide many Europeans the first hurdle before the continental competition.
Coughlin, a three-time Olympian, is vying for her fourth Olympic berth and Bolzano is one of the first stops on her 2013-14 season. In 2010 and 2011, Coughlin broke through in a big way with meet records in the 100 fly and 100 IM (her favorite event).
“With Coughlin in Bolzano we can present to the audience an absolute superstar, who has ruled over a decade with excellence,” meet president Christian Mattivi said.
Italian record-holder Pietro Codia is also scheduled to compete. Codia took down Italian records in the 50 fly prelims and semifinals at the World Championships in Barcelona. He will also be joined by Germany’s Junior Athlete of the Year Maximilian Oswald as well as Jenny Mensing and Austria’s Birgit Koschischek. Additionally, local National Teamers Laura Letrari and Lisa Fissneider are slated to attend.
“We are still negotiating with numerous other world class athletes. In the next few weeks we will certainly name some more big names,” Mattivi said.
The meet features a split timed final setup where the circle seeded heats of each race are separated from the rest of the program into the evening. Saturday’s fast session will start at 4 p.m. local, while Sunday begins at 1 p.m. local.
For those with a bit of a short memory, this is the meet where Italy’s Federico Bocchia made worldwide noise as “King Shark” with his flashy entrance shown below.
Bolzano uploaded its top races to SwimmingWorld.TV last year , and has plans to do so again this year. So, if Coughlin decides to pull off a Queen Shark moment, we’ll have it. Additionally, a live stream will be available at www.meetingbz.it or www.liveye.it during the fast session finals.