ISL Announces Domenico Fioravanti as New General Manager of Aqua Centurions

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The International Swimming League on Tuesday announced that Domenico Fioravanti has been hired as the new general manager of the Aqua Centurions franchise.

Fioravanti, 43, has a long history in the sport. The apex was the 2000 Olympics, when the Italian won the men’s 100 and 200 breaststroke in Sydney. Fioravanti was the first Italian man to win an Olympic swimming gold medal and the first man to sweep the breaststroke events at a single Games. (The 100 breast was added to the 200 in 1968.)

Fioravanti also won two medals at the 2001 World Championships. He’s a four-time European champion and six-time medalist at the European Championships, in short- and long-course. He retired from swimming in 2004.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Aqua Centurions and look forward to getting started very soon,” Fioravanti said in an ISL statement. “Ahead of the ISL Draft, the club has several top swimmers potentially already in place, and I hope to bolster the team and help them reach at least the ISL Playoffs in Season 3.”

The Aqua Centurions failed to make the inaugural ISL Grand Final in 2019 and missed out on the semifinals in 2020. Last season, it was hit particularly hard by many of the Italian swimmers pulling out of the bubbled league in Budapest over COVID-19 concerns. A case of COVID also sidelined headliner Federica Pellegrini.

Alessandro Guerra was listed as the GM last season, with Matteo Giunta as the head coach. The team won three events and had four second-place finishes in four matches in 2020.

The Aqua Centurions have some talent to built on. Italy has been producing a number of standout breaststrokers in recent years, including Centurions Nicolo Martinenghi, Fabio Scozzoli, Martina Carraro and Arianna Castiglioni as well as Benedetta Pilato, who swims for Energy Standard.

“It is a great sight,” Fioravanti said of the current state of Italian breaststroke. “With Fabio Scozzoli injured, I didn’t think Nicolò Martinenghi could go so fast this early in the year. And then there is the incredible trio of Martina Carraro, Arianna Castiglioni and Benedetta Pilato. I would say that there has been a good evolution.”

The Centurions had some success last year with decent sprint depth behind Alessandro Miressi and Brazilian Marcelo Chierighini.

They will have the opportunity to add more talent for Season 3 via the newly instituted ISL draft.