ROME, Italy, June 14. HUNGARY won four of 10 events today at the 50th annual Sette Colli meet, with Zsuzsanna Jakabos leading the way with a tough double.
Jakabos started the finals session with a win in the 200 fly, posting a 2:08.19 ahead of teammate Liliana Szilagyi's 2:08.48. Jakabos has been a little faster with a 2:07.38 to her credit from March. It's a major improvement for Szilagyi, vaulting her up the world rankings from 37th place with a 2:11.23 from March to eighth. With Jakabos and Katinka Hosszu already set to swim the event for Hungary at the world championships, Szilagyi's swim comes a little too late to gain qualification for world championships. Placing third in the race today was Sweden's Martina Granstroem with a 2:10.19.
Jakabos was back for the 400 IM final, and won convincingly with a 4:38.82 on the strength of a strong final 150 meters. She needed it to pull away from teammate Evelyn Verraszto, who touched in 4:40.12. Both women swam faster earlier this year, with a 4:35.43 for Jakabos to put her fourth in the world and a 4:38.50 from Verraszto that ranks seventh. Barbora Zavadova from the Czech Republic placed third with a 4:46.11.
Bence Pulai posted another win for Hungary in a very tight finish in the men's 200 fly, with the top six all posting times in the 1:58 range. The 21-year-old, who swam the 100 fly in the Olympic semifinal last year, swam a 1:58.46 for the win. It marked his first swim under two minutes in the event. Pulai was seventh at the 150-meter mark but checked off the six swimmers ahead of him throughout the final 50 meters to get the victory. Placing second was Italy's Francesco Pavone with a 1:58.60 and Matteo Pelizzari with a 1:58.63. Brazil's Leonardo de Deus was fourth in 1:58.66, while France's Jordan Coelho (1:58.80) and Romania's Alex Coci (1:58.85) rounded out the top six.
David Verraszto, a rising star in the individual medley events for Hungary, won the men's 400 IM in 4:12.32, his fastest swim of the year. He posted a 4:13.40 in April for eighth in the world, and his time today moves him up to seventh, knocking Yannick Lebherz down a notch. Italy's Federico Turrini, who is fifth in the world with a 4:11.55, placed second today with a 4:15.85. Laszlo Cseh, the most notable name in the field, was third in 4:18.88 as he works back to competition form after some time off after the Olympics.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo continued her streak of wins in the sprint freestyles, winning the 100 in 53.89. It's just a hair off her best of the season, a 53.83 from April that holds her at fifth in the world. Femke Heemskerk, currently sixth in the world, was second today with a 54.48. France's Camille Muffat placed third with a 54.49.
One day after a strong swim to win the 100 breast, Fabio Scozzoli won the 50-meter version with a meet record 27.31, beating Cameron van der Burgh's 27.62. Scozzoli's time is his best of the season and moves him up from fifth in the world to third behind Christian Sprenger (26.90) and Joao Gomes (27.20). Teammate Andrea Toniato was second with a 27.58 while Francesco Di Lecce took third with a 27.68.
Arianna Barbieri won the women's 100 back for Italy with a 1:01.42, with teammate Elena Gemo second with a 1:01.54. France's Cloe Credeville placed third with a 1:01.91.
Camille Lacourt, looking to defend his 100 backstroke co-world title, won the event today with a 54.08. Holland's Bastiaan Lijesen was second with a 54.64 while Italy's Marco di Tora was third with a 54.79.
Italy's Marco Belotti beat out two strong Dutch freestylers in the men's 200 free with a time of 1:48.12. Dion Dreesens placed second with a 1:49.14 and Olympic semifinalist Sebastian Verschuren was third with a 1:49.39.
Moniek Nijhuis won the women's 50 breaststroke with a 31.46 ahead of Italy's Martina Carraro (31.85) and Lisa Fissneider (32.00).