European Championships: Italy Win Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay Ahead Of Hungary And Britain

MIRESSI Alessandro ITA Men's 100m Freestyle Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates 20/12/21 Etihad Arena FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Alessandro Miressi: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

European Championships: Italy Win Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay Ahead Of Hungary And Britain

Italy won the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay with Manuel Frigo anchoring them home in 47.26 at the European Championships in Rome.

The quartet of Alessandro Miressi (47.76), Thomas Ceccon (47.88), Lorenzo Zazzeri (47.60) and Frigo were ahead at the halfway stage, a lead they extended to win gold in 3:10.50 at a joyous Foro Italico.

Kristof Milak took over with Hungary behind Britain and he tussled with Ed Mildred in the adjacent lane before overhauling the Briton to take second in 3:12.43 as Hungary claimed a medal in the event for the first time.

Britain were third in 3:12.70 but France were disqualified.

It was the third time Italy claimed gold in the history of the event following victories in 2004 and 2006 and the sixth straight Europeans in which they have reached the podium.

They won bronze at the previous edition in Budapest in May last year behind Russia – banned following the war against Ukraine – and Britain.

They went on to win silver behind the USA in Tokyo in a national record of 3:10.11 and bronze at this year’s World Championships.

Miressi, who led the team off in 47.76, said:

“I’m happy, our time was a bit better at the World Championships. Still, it’s close to our best time.

“Not all of us were in their best shape but we all did well. Our task to finish first, as we are at home, and we just made it.”

Milak swam the fastest split of the entire field in 47.24 as he added silver with Nandor Nemeth, Szebasztian Szabo and Daniel Meszaros to the 100 fly gold he won in the opening race of the session.

The 22-year-old had mixed feelings though given he failed to negotiate his way through the semis of the 200 free but instead finished 10th after having only 15 minutes between the start of his fly final and semifinal.

Of how he felt, Milak said:

“Tears in one of my eyes, smiling the other.

“I’m still a bit upset because of the 200m free where my duel will not happen with David (Popovici).

“I could have swum way better than today in the semis, minutes after the 100m fly final.

“What makes me happy is this relay silver. The guys put me a great position and while catching the Italians was impossible, I could out-touch the Brit at the wall to take the second place and that’s a great end for this extremely exhausting day.”

Britain’s team of Jacob Whittle, Matt Richards, Tom Dean and Mildred had all pulled out of the 200 free to focus on the relay.

The decision to withdraw from the individual event raised some eyebrows on social media but, after three major international meets in less than eight weeks, protection of the athletes’ mental and physical wellbeing is paramount.

The quartet claimed Britain’s third medal in the event following silvers in 1962 and 2021 and Dean said:

“We are so happy with this medal, this is a long summer for us.

“We had the Worlds, the Commonwealths and now these Europeans but it’s great to have this medal and I’m proud of how the team performed today.

“I really enjoyed myself out there, I’m really glad with the season we have had as a team.

“We keep on winning medals almost every day and especially today, when Freya (Anderson) claimed another individual medal (silver in the 200 free).”

Results

  1. Italy; 3:10.50
  2. Hungary; 3:12.43
  3. Great Britain; 3:12.70
  4. Spain; 3:13.73
  5. Netherlands; 3:15.75
  6. Ukraine; 3:15.94
  7. Poland; 3:15.97

DSQ: France

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