European Championships: Italy’s Thomas Ceccon Claims 50 Butterfly Gold

european-champioships-Thomas Ceccon of Italy reacts after compete in the 50m Butterfly Men Heats during the FINA 19th World Championships at Duna Arena in Budapest, Hungary, June 18th, 2022. Thomas Ceccon placed 2nd. Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Photo Courtesy: DeepBlue Media

European Championships: Italy’s Thomas Ceccon Claims 50 Butterfly Title

Less than two months ago, Thomas Ceccon worked his way through a stacked field to capture the gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke at the World Championships in Budapest. Punctuating the effort was a world-record time of 51.60, and a leadership role in Italy’s continued climb up the global ladder.

Now, Ceccon can call himself a major champion in another stroke.

Racing in front of a home crowd at the European Championships in Rome, Ceccon earned a continental title in the 50 butterfly. Racing down one lap at the Foro Italico, Ceccon got his hand on the wall first, winning in 22.89. He finished .08 ahead of France’s Maxime Grousset (22.97). The bronze medal went to Portugal’s Diogo Matos Ribeiro, as the teen touched in 23.07.

“This medal means a lot to me,” Ceccon said. “The only thing that counts is that I won. The 50 fly can be a touch-and-go race, kind of a lottery. Despite my start was a bit slow, I did better than in the semis. It was great to swim here and to hear the cheers of the crowd.”

The top qualifier out of the semifinals, Nyls Korstanje of the Netherlands, took fourth in 23.10. Australia’s Simon Bucher was fifth in 23.12, ahead of world-record-holder Andriy Govorov of the Ukraine (23.18). Bulgaria’s Josif Milandinov was seventh (23.41), followed by Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo (23.62).

As the world-record holder and world champion in the 100 backstroke, Ceccon is easily associated with that event before others. But the truth is, the Italian exhibits wide range. Not only has he complemented his backstroke ability with butterfly skill, Ceccon ranks among Italy’s elite in the 100 freestyle and is a versatile member of his nation’s relay squads.

Ceccon was part of a highly successful day for the hosts, as Italy sent an athlete to the top of the podium in four solo events. He was joined by Margherita Panziera (200 backstroke), Nicolo Martinenghi (100 breaststroke) and Simona Quadarella (800 freestyle) as Day Two gold medalists.

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