European Championships: Alberto Razzetti Wins 400IM As Pier Andrea Matteazzi Makes It Italy 1-3; Record Sixth Medal For Verraszto

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Alberto Razzetti: Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia

European Championships: Alberto Razzetti Wins 400IM As Pier Andrea Matteazzi Makes It Italy 1-3; Record Sixth Medal For Verraszto

Alberto Razzetti upgraded silver to gold as he claimed the 400IM title at the European Championships in Rome following a back-and-forth battle with three-time champion David Verraszto.

The Italian was second last time out in Budapest last year behind Ilya Borodin although the Russian isn’t competing at the Foro Italico because of the ban following the invasion of Ukraine.

Neither is European record-holder Leon Marchand competing, the Frenchman who rattled Michael Phelps’ world mark en-route to the world title in 4:04.28 in Budapest.

Verraszto qualified first from morning prelims as he sought his fourth long medley title after winning three straight golds in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Razzetti traded the lead throughout with Verrazsto but ultimately the former secured a comfortable victory in 4:10.60 to the Hungarian’s 4:12.58 with Pier Andrea Matteazzi making it an Italy one-three in 4:13.29.

Razzetti made his intentions clear on the fly when he reached the 100 in 55.93 to Verraszto’s 57.10 only for the Hungarian to pull back the deficit on the backstroke.

He was ahead by 150, a lead he extended at 200, but Razzetti then responded on the breaststroke and he had reclaimed the lead at 250, followed by a superb turn which saw him with clear water.

It was Razzetti all the way by then and his victory was ultimately far more comfortable than had appeared would be the case.

He said:

“My time is normal. It wasn’t that important, I thought I could go 4:09 but it doesn’t matter.

“The goal was to finish first at the end, the pressure was tremendous here in Rome, in front of our fans.

“I did it, I’m overjoyed. I know my rivals very well, I knew I had to stay close to them and stay focused for all the race.

“I did that, I gave my all and I’m really happy to open the championships with a gold.”

It was a sixth medal in the event for Verraszto who has been on the podium every year since 2010 and he said:

“This is the reality today, a 4:15 in the morning, and a 4:12 in the afternoon, taking into account that in February I went on holiday to the Maldives, had a fine vacation and weighed 85kg (now 69).

“There I decided that I still had the will to go on, even after the disappointing fourth place at the Olympics.

“I trained in Austria with my former coach, and after we managed to find the common path, the last two months were real workouts and over the final three weeks I felt that things are coming together.

“This time is a sign that it’s worth going on. After all, I managed to beat guys 10, 15 years younger than me.”

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