Natalie Coughlin, Steffen Deibler Shine at Bolzano International Swim Meeting

BOLZANO, Italy, November 9. SWIMMAC Elite, along with special guest Natalie Coughlin of Cal Aquatics, put on a show for the Italian fans here in Bolzano at the International Swim Meeting competition taking place in short course meter format.

Coughlin started off the evening right with a strong 52.91 to win the women’s 100-meter freestyle this evening. That’s only half-a-second off her top time this season of a 52.64 from Genoa that ranks her eighth in the world. SwimMAC’s Ariana Vanderpool-Wallace took second in 54.38, while Great Britain’s Jessica Lloyd placed third in 54.98.

Coughlin then doubled up in her favorite event with a sterling 59.21 in the women’s 100-meter IM. That swim vaulted her to eighth in the world rankings. SwimMAC’s Katie Meili took second in 1:00.62, while Germany’s Doris Eichhorn wound up third in 1:02.05.

Germany’s Steffen Deibler, who stands third in the world in the 100 free with a 46.20 from the Berlin stop of the FINA World Cup, claimed the event title this evening with a 48.49. Italy’s Lorenzo Benatti touched second in 49.14, while Czech’s Thomas Plevko wound up third in 49.24. SwimMAC’s Roy Burch, meanwhile, took fourth in 49.27 to break his Bermuda national record by .02.

Deibler doubled up in the men’s 50 fly with a 23.26. He’s been much faster with a second-ranked 22.14 from Berlin on the World Cup, but his swim tonight was plenty enough for the win. Italy’s Piero Codia touched second in 23.95, while Italy’s Lorenzo Benatti claimed third in 24.08.

SwimMAC’s Katie Meili touched out Italy’s Lisa Fissneider, 31.42 to 31.48, in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke finale. Italy’s Michela Guzzetti rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 31.74. Great Britain’s Chris Steeples followed with a 27.58 to win the men’s 50 breast. Italy’s Andrea Toniato (27.65) and Russia’s Stanislav Lakhtyukhov (27.90) finished second and third in the finale.

Italy’s Elena Gemo picked up the women’s 100 backstroke win in 59.23, while Great Britain’s Jessica Fullalove (59.86) and Rachel Lefley (1:00.33) took second and third behind her. SwimMAC’s Nick Thoman then raced to a 51.21 to win the men’s 100 back. That swim came up half-a-second off Thoman’s eighth-ranked 50.86 from Genoa last week. USA’s Adam Mania placed second in 53.13, while Great Britain’s Sam Horrocks earned third in 54.13.

Italy’s Elena Di Liddo put up a 27.14 to win the women’s 50 fly, while Lefley earned another podium with a second-place 27.20. Austria’s Birgit Koschischek finished third in 27.37. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh topped the men’s 100-meter IM with a 54.72, while Mania took second in 54.86. Deibler finished third in 55.35.

The meet will conclude with another run of sprint-centric events tomorrow.