FLASH! Kazan 2021: Italy Set World Record In Men’s 4×50 Medley Relay At European SC

ITALY, MARTINENGHI Nicolo' ITA, ORSI Marco ITA, ZAZZERI Lorenzo ITA, LAMBERTI Michele ITA, Gold Medal - World Record, 4x50m Medley Men Kazan - Russia 03/11/2021 Aquatics Palace LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Italy, Russia & Netherlands: Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia

Italy set a new world record of 1:30.14 in the men’s 4×50 medley relay at the European Short-Course Championships in Kazan.

Russia had qualified swiftest and they started with a line-up of Kliment Kolesnikov, Oleg Kostin, Vlad Morozov and Vladislav Grinev while alongside them Italy also looked formidable.

Kolesnikov led the Russians off in 22.58 to Michele Lamberti’s 22.62 before Nicolo Martinenghi steered Italy into the lead with a split of 25.14.

Marco Orsi went 22.17 on the fly and handed over with a clear lead to Lorenzo Zazzeri who blasted a 20.21 final 50.

The quartet cut 0.30 from Russia’s world record of 1:30.44 which had stood since the 2017 continental showcase in Copenhagen.

Russia stopped the clock at 1:30.79 with the Netherlands third in 1:32.16, a new national mark eclipsing the previous super-suited record from 2009.

It was a very special 21st birthday for Lamberti who also claimed silvers in the 100 fly and 50 back, the latter in an Italian record.

Medley relay, Kazan 2021

Italy, Russia & Netherlands: Photo Courtesy: Deepbluemedia

Italy splits:

Lamberti: 22.62

Martinenghi: 25.14 (47.76)

Orsi: 22.17 (1:09.93)

Zazzeri: 20.21 (1:30.14)

Russia splits:

Kolesnikov: 22.58

Kostin: 25.51 (48.09)

Morozov: 22.18 (1:10.27)

Grinev: 20.52 (1:30.79)

Lamberti Michele ITA 100m Butterfly Men Final Kazan - Russia 03/11/2021 Aquatics Palace LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Michele Lamberti: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Birthday boy Lamberti – son of 1991 200 free world champion Giorgio – said:

“It has been an unforgettable day. It couldn’t have ended in a better way.

“I always try to concentrate on finding my inner energy and that give me self-confidence for the races.

“The world record is just incredible. Deep down, I knew we could do it.

“I can hardly find anything else to say today, in fact, just this morning we were teasing and joking that maybe we could break this record and we did it. That’s unbelievable.”

Zazzeri added:

“It is an incredible feeling, it was a battle all the way till the end.

“I mean, this the world record… I’m almost speechless and overjoyed and happy for us, as a team.

“As far as my split is concerned, I didn’t think I could do better than yesterday but I did as I swam 20.21.

“This makes me hopeful for the (50 free) final tomorrow as my individual semi-final didn’t go well earlier. I have positive feelings for tomorrow.”

Martinenghi can now add a world record and European gold to his Olympic 100br bronze and he said:

“I’m very satisfied, it is true we were joking this morning about breaking the world record.

“We knew we could do it. We were really smart on how we prepared our tactics for this race. All the splits are just incredible, the record was a dream of ours.”

Kostin said:

 “We really waited for this competition, we showed our best so I’m really happy with this medal.”

Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Arno Kamminga (NED) in the men's 200m breaststroke heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Arno Kamminga: Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports

Thom de Boer, who swam a final split of 20.32 for the Netherlands, added:

“We knew we would very close with Turkey, we also knew that Russia and Italy were the favourites.

“So our goal was just to get a medal, though of course we always want to be first.

“Still, to be on the podium here and get this medal is great. I was confident I could close the gap when I dove in, yesterday I swam really fast too so I knew I could do it.

“This was my fourth race only today so I really plan to get some sleep for tomorrow.”

His team-mate Arno Kamminga had already equalled his Dutch 100 breaststroke record in the semis with 55.82 to reach Thursday’s final which promises to be an absolute corker with Ilya Shymanovich rattling his own world record.

Kamminga split 25.48 and said:

“This was a lot of fun. Two years ago we didn’t even start in this relay so to come away with a medal is great, it really shows the growth of our team. We also had one of our best times.

“We knew we would be very close with Turkey – at the end, they were disqualified but we still out-touched them.

“Personally, I’m happy with my time and my race. Overall, I feel good and I just had a very good semi-final right before this.

“I’m definitely in PB shape, so this is a good start for me here and looking forward to the rest of my races.”