ROME, Italy, June 13. THE Swimming World has been spoiled with all the tremendous action in Europe this month with the Mare Nostrum circuit currently underway. But, those attending the Sette Colli meet would not be denied their own spotlight as some seriously world-class swims went up on the board in Rome. No one could touch the star power of Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom on day one.
Sjostrom sizzled in the women’s 100-meter fly with a blistering time of 56.50 for the win. That performance is the fastest this year, bettering a 56.53 Sjostrom had previously posted earlier this year. It is also second-fastest time in textile. Sjostrom continues to turn up the heat whenever she enters the water, and this weekend could be a special three days of swimming from the Swedish star. Elena Di Liddo took second in the 100 fly with a 57.73 to move to eighth in the world, while Inge Dekker of The Netherlands placed third in 57.82. Dekker already has been 57.33 this year, but that’s one of the fastest podiums anyone in the sport will ever see. Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi missed the top three with a 58.27 for fourth to tie her 13th-ranked season best of 58.27.
Sjostrom doubled up with a swift 24.36 to win the women’s 50-meter free. That performance came up a bit short of her second-ranked season best of 24.15 from the Eindhoven Swim Cup. She won a stacked finale as The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.61) and Femke Heemskerk (24.84) took second and third.
Lithuania’s Giedrius Titenis became one of just eight swimmers under 1:00 in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke this year with a dominant victory of 59.75. That vaulted him to fourth in the world. Only Christian Sprenger (58.87), Cameron van der Burgh (59.50) and Ross Murdoch (59.56) have been faster this year. Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta put up a 1:00.32 for second overall, taking 10th in the world rankings in the process. Germany’s Marco Koch finished third in 1:00.55. Koch currently holds ninth in the rankings with a 1:00.08 from German Nationals.
Czech’s Simona Baumrtova took home the women’s 50-meter backstroke title to start the night as she touched out Elena Gemo, 28.56 to 28.58. Baumrtova moved into a tied for 20th in the world rankings with Arianna Barbieri with the swim. Barbieri, who posted the 28.56 at the Italian Spring Nationals in Riccione, wound up third here in Rome with a 28.63.
Niccolo Bonacchi, the fifth-ranked swimmer in the world with a 24.65 season best from Italian Spring Nationals, took home the men’s 50-meter backstroke title with a 25.31. Stefano Pizzamiglio wound up taking second in the sprint backstroke event with a 25.39, while Simone Sabbioni earned third in 25.51.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who already finished eighth in the 50-meter back to start the night, won the women’s 400-meter freestyle going away with a 4:05.92. That swim nearly cleared her eighth-ranked season best of 4:05.51 from the Monte Carlo stop of the Mare Nostrum. Fellow Hungarian Boglarka Kapas checked in with a second-place time of 4:07.13 to move to 17th in the world. Italy’s Aurora Ponsele picked up third overall in 4:07.62.
Germany’s Paul Biedermann grabbed the men’s 400-meter freestyle title with a time of 3:48.70. He finished about a second off his 10th-ranked season best of 3:47.89 from German Nationals. Italy’s Gabriele Detti snagged second overall with a time of 3:49.43, while compatriot Gregorio Paltrinieri wound up third in 3:50.48.
Sweden’s Jennie Johansson blasted her way to eighth in the world in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke with a 1:07.14. That time nipped Alia Atkinson’s 1:07.15 from the Orlando stop of the Arena Grand Prix to move into eighth, and also was a bit better than Johansson’s previous season best of 1:07.38. The Netherlands’ Moniek Nijhuis finished second in 1:07.78 to leapfrog Mio Motegi (1:07.81) in the world standings at 19th. Michela Guzzetti checked in with a third-place time of 1:08.31.
Hungary’s Bence Pulai topped an exciting finale in the men’s 100-meter fly with a 52.59. Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin and Italy’s Piero Codia tied for second with 52.63s, while Germany’s Steffen Deibler just missed the podium with a third-place time of 52.65.
Marco Orsi hit the wall in 22.22 to win the men’s 50-meter free, while Luca Dotta took second in the splash-and-dash with a 22.46. Greece’s Odyssefs Meladinis wound up tying Andrea Rolla for third in the sprint with 22.52s.
Gregorio Paltrinieri cruised to victory in the men’s 800-meter freestyle with a 7:52.44 for the win. That’s well off his second-ranked season best of 7:43.01 from the Italian Spring Nationals, but more than enough to win tonight. Gabriele Detti, who has the top time in the world this year with a 7:42.74 also from Italian Spring Nationals, took second tonight in 7:56.69. Hungary’s Gergo Kis placed third overall in 7:58.03.
Germany’s Sarah Kohler claimed the women’s 1500-meter free title in 16:29.96 with Italy’s Martina Caramignoli earning second in 16:33.12. Rachele Bruni snared third in the metric mile with a time of 16:35.56.