Martina Carraro Sets Italian 100 Breaststroke Record of 1:05.86 In Riccione

Martina Carraro - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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Martina Carraro set a national record of 1:05.86 in the 100m breaststroke at the Italian Swimming Championships to announce herself as a medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics in July.

The meet represents the final chance to guarantee a spot on the Italian team for Tokyo although some swimmers may negotiate their way there at the Sette Colli in June.

Link to results

Carraro had qualified third in 1:06.97 from morning heats as three women hit the 1:06 mark with Benedetta Pilato‘s Italian record of 1:06.02 from December 2020 clearly under threat.

lilly-king-martina-carraro 100-breast-finals-2019-world-championships

Lilly King Martina Carraro Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Arianna Castiglioni (1:06.37) and Pilato (1:06.38) led the way in prelims but it was Carraro – who won bronze at the 2019 World Championships – who became the first Italian to break the 1:06 barrier.

Pilato was first at halfway in 30.91 to Carraro’s 31.07 with Castiglioni in third (31.32) but a second 50 of 34.79 propelled the 27-year-old home.

Castiglioni produced the fastest second 50 of 34.68 to move on to Pilato’s shoulder with the pair both stopping the clock at 1:06.00.

Pilato had already booked her ticket for Tokyo and will now be joined by Carraro, who was some way inside the cut of 1:06.9.

In fact, all the first three were well inside the qualification time with Castiglioni failing to clinch a spot despite going 1:06.00 which begs the question of whether there will be room for an appeal given that time is speedier than the 1:06.02 in which Pilato had qualified.

Carraro had set a then national record of 1:06.36 to claim bronze behind Lilly King (1:04.93) and Yulia Efimova (1:05.49) in Gwangju in July 2019.

Saturday’s time was enough to guide the Italian to second in the rankings led by King and her 1:05.32 with Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa now relegated to third (1:05.89).

Carraro told the Italian Swimming Federation:

“It was a very difficult day, very tense. I was trying for the Olympics and I didn’t want to give it up for the world. I am really happy.

“I’m happy to be able to improve myself so much.

“Such a remarkable time I am very proud of the work we are doing. This morning I was amazed by the time Arianna Castiglioni swam but I remained focused on my race and my potential. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.”

Pellegrini Dominates 200 Free

Federica Pellegrini of Italy celebrates after winning in the women’s 200m Freestyle Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 24 July 2019.

Federica Pellegrini: Photo Courtesy: PATRICK B. KRAEMER

Federica Pellegrini led from start to finish to win the 200fr in 1:56.69 to go fifth in the rankings.

The 32-year-old four-time 200fr world champion was out in 26.81 and reached halfway in 56.24 (29.43).

Pellegrini turned at 15o in 1:26.37 (30.13) before a final 50 of 30.32 guided her home almost three seconds ahead of Margherita Panziera – who has won the 100-200 backstroke double so far this week – who touched in 1:59.52.

Stefania Pirozzi completed the top three in 2:00.38.

Pellegrini will compete in her fifth Olympics, 13 years after she won 200 free gold at Beijing 2008.

She said:

“Sorry for the tears but these last few months have not been easy. Swimming this time was not easy and it’s even more beautiful because it’s my race.

“I’m happy with the time, with everything. They are in line with the other Italian championships made in recent years.

“Now I can breathe much better. I have reached the fifth Olympics and I feel like crying again.”

Stefano Ballo won the men’s race in 1:46.76 – outside the individual cut although good enough for the relay – ahead of Stefano Di Cola and Fillipo Megli who couldn’t be separated as both touched in 1:47.75.

Di Liddo And Codia Fly To Victory But Fall Short Of Tokyo Cut

Elena Di Liddo was 0.71 off her Italian record of 57.04 in the 100 fly but her winning time of 57.75 was outside the standard required to book an individuial ticket to Tokyo – although it was good enough for the mixed relay.

Di Liddo turned at halfway alongside Ilaria Bianchi as both women reached 50 at 27.27 with the former putting clear daylight between them with a 30.58 second 50.

Bianchi stopped the clock at 58.37.

Piero Codia: Photo Courtesy: Foto Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto

Piero Codia won the men’s 100 fly from Federico Burdisso, who is already on the plane to Tokyo in the 200.

Codia was out in 24.05 and back in 28.01 to stop the clock at 52.06 to Burdisso’s 52.14 but the winning time was outside the 51.5 needed to punch a ticket for the Games.

Matteo Rivolta was third in 52.20.

Simone Sabbioni was a clear winner in the men’s 100 back although his time of 53.91 was outside the cut for Tokyo.

Matteo Restivo (54.41) and Christopher Ciccarese (54.68) claimed the runners-up slots.

Silvia Scalia won the women’s 50 back in 28.17.

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