Panziera Lowers National 200m Backstroke Record To 2:05.56 At Italian Championships

PANZIERA Margherita ITA Gold Medal 200m Backstroke Women Finals Glasgow 09/08/18 Swimming Tollcross International Swimming Centre LEN European Aquatics Championships 2018-european-championshipsEuropean Championships 2018 Photo Andrea Masini/ Deepbluemedia/Insidefoto
Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala/ Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto

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Margherita Panziera lowered her own national 200m backstroke record to 2:05.56 on the first day of the Italian Swimming Championships in Riccione.

Gabriele Detti and Marco de Tullio both went 3:44 in the 400 free to go one-two in the rankings while Sara Franceschi hit the qualification mark for Tokyo with a 400IM pb of 4:37.06.

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

Panziera had set the previous Italian mark of 2:05.72 in 2019, a year after she won the European title in 2:06.18 and had already booked her spot on the team for Tokyo.

The 25-year-old went out in 30.11 to establish a lead of almost a second at the first turn over nearest challenger Erika Gaetani and her splits thereafter were metronomic: 1:01.88 (31.77), 1:33.82 (31.94) and then a final 50 of 31.74.

It rockets the Italian to the top of the world rankings in 2021, eclipsing Australian Kaylee McKeown  and her 2:05.66 in the process, and sends her fourth all-time in a textile suit behind world record-holder Regan Smith (2:03.35), Missy Franklin (2:04.06) and McKeown (2:04.46).


Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Gaetani was more than six seconds adrift in 2:11.80 with Martina Cenci rounding out the top three in 2:12.20.

Panziera – coached by Gianluca Belfiore – told the Italian swimming federation:

“It was a totally unexpected record. Let’s say that I arrived a little more energised than my team-mates because I already had the Olympic qualification.

“In the water I felt good but we didn’t think so good; we take it as a good starting point for this season.

“I feel ready for all the next big national and international events.

“Apart from Covid, I am quite happy this year: I believe I can do very well .”

Detti Wins Out In Stroke-For-Stroke Tussle


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Detti – the Olympic bronze medallist – went ahead on the third 50, a lead he extended to 0.55secs at the 250 mark.

De Tullio though started eating into the deficit which was just 0.06 at the final turn but the two-time world bronze medallist blasted a last 50 of 27.17 to 27.20 to get his hand to the wall first in 3:44.65 to De Tullio’s 3:44.74.

Matteo Ciampi was third in 3:47.61.

Detti and De Tullio will spearhead the Italian challenge in Tokyo with Mack Horton of Australia the defending champion.

Detti also revealed he had had the Covid-19 vaccine, saying: “I had the vaccine on Monday, then I had a little fever but now it’s okay.

“I was hoping to get to these races a little more relaxed. The preparation, however, is very good.”

Simona Quadarella led from start to finish to win the women’s 400fr in 4:06.49 ahead of Martina Caramignoli (4:08.39) and Giulia Salin (4:11.04).

Franceschi Goes 4:37 In 400IM; Zazzeri Goes Inside 22 For 50Fr

sara franceschi

Sara Franceschi: Photo Courtesy:

Franceschi was second to Ilaria Cusinato after the fly leg before she went to the head of the field, extending her lead on the freestyle with a 32.75/31.30 final 100 for a new PB of 4:37.06, lowering her previous best of 4:40.03 set back in 2016.

She booked her ticket to Tokyo for her second Olympics after finishing 30th at Rio 2016 aged 17 where the cut-off for the final was 4:36.54.

Cusinato was second in 4:40.58 – outside the qualification time – with Carlotta Toni rounding out the top three in 4:44.04.

She said:

“What a joy! I didn’t expect it either. The idea was to win and qualify for the Europeans (in Budapest in May), then the Olympic ticket even arrived.

“I was very lucky to have been able to train even in this particular period and I thank the coaches, the club and the federation.

“It will be my second Olympics, in the first I was very young, so this will have a particular flavor and importance.”

Pier Andrea Matteazi won the men’s race in 4:15.80.

Lorenzo Zazzeri twice went inside 22secs in the 50 free: he clocked 21.94 in morning heats before taking a further 0.05 from that time in the final although his time of 21.89 was not yet enough to book a spot for Tokyo.

Leonardo Deplano was second in 22.11 with Alessandro Bori taking third in 22.15.

Costanza Cocconcelli won the women’s 50fr in 25,04 by a sliver ahead of Federica Pellegrini (25.07) with Silvia Di Pietro and Chiara Tarantino (25.19) both stopping the clock at 25.19.

Edoardo Giorgetti won the men’s 200br in 2:10.93.



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