Sara Curtis Rips Italian, European Junior Record 24.56 in 50 Free at Italian Championships

Women 50m Freestyle
Sara Curtis: Photo Courtesy: Istvan Derencsenyi/LEN

Sara Curtis Rips Italian, European Junior Record 24.56 in 50 Free at Italian Championships

Italian sprinter Sara Curtis took down an Italian record in the 50 free in the morning session of the Italian Championships Friday to book a spot at the Paris Olympics.

Curtis won prelims with a time of 24.56. That’s an Olympic A cut. It takes down Silvia Di Pietro’s national record of 24.72 from 2022.

Curtis, 17, is also under the European Junior record of 24.77 seconds set in 2023 by Russian Daria Tofimova. Curtis’ best time entering the meet was 24.91 from World Juniors last fall.

She won the event at night, going 24.63. Chiara Tarantino finished second in 25.14, with Costanza Cocconcelli third in 25.23.

The meet in Riccione is on its fourth day of five. The day’s competition yielded four Olympic A cuts.

Curtis wasn’t the only teen turning heads. Alessandro Ragaini went 1:47.12 in the 200 free in the morning to clip a tenth off his national junior record, then he blasted that time out of the water at night. The result was a 1:45.83, a massive improvement on the Italian junior mark and an Olympic A cut. He put a scare into Filippo Megli’s national record of 1:45.67.

Megli finished second in 1:46.50, which is a B cut. Giovanni Caserta was third in 1:46.88 and Stefano di Cola finished fourth in 1:47.54 for the Italians, who have qualified an 800 free relay in Paris.

Among the notable scratches in the morning were Thomas Ceccon, Federico Burdisso and Stefano Raimondi from the men’s 100 fly and Cocconcelli from the women’s 100 back.

Ceccon opted for the 200 back, which he said he’s been training hard for. The 2022 world champion in the 100 back struggled in prelims, placing a distant 11th. He was five seconds faster at night, blasting a time of of 1:57.12 to win the B final and attain an A cut.

Matteo Restivo also booked a place in Paris with a winning time of 1:56.83 in the 200 back. He was well ahead of Matteo Venini in 1:58.22, with Lorenzo Mora third in 1:58.71.

Alberto Razzetti, who has already qualified for Paris in the 200 fly and both individual medleys, won the 100 fly in 52.06. That’s shy of the A cut of 51.67. Eduoardo Valescchi was second in 52.29, with all eight A finalists breaking 53 seconds.

Erika Gaetani pulled an upset in the women’s 100 back, winning in 1:00.58. Margherita Panziera had set the pace in prelims at 1:00.79, but the two-time Olympian finished second in finals at 1:00.60. Both times are short of even the B cut, with the A cut at 59.99.

Paola Borrelli won the women’s 200 fly in 2:09.11. That’s just outside the Olympic B cut. Roberta Piano Del Balzo was second in 2:09.97.

Nicolo Martinenghi breezed to victory in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:10.09. That’s an Olympic consideration cut. Christian Mantegazza was second in 2:12.12.

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