Siobhan Haughey, Thomas Ceccon, Arno Kamminga Post Impressive Swims on First Day of Sette Colli Trophy

Siobhan Haughey -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Siobhan Haughey, Thomas Ceccon, Arno Kamminga Post Impressive Swims on First Day of Sette Colli Trophy

During the first evening of finals at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, Hong Kong star Siobhan Haughey posted the fourth-fastest 200 freestyle in the world so far this year as she readies for a return to the World Championships after missing last year’s meet with injuries. Meanwhile, 100 backstroke world-record holder Thomas Ceccon and breaststroke Olympic silver medalist Arno Kamminga each posted wins over key rivals.

The Sette Colli meet is serving as the last major test for European swimmers and visitors before next month’s World Championships as well as a second opportunity for Italian swimmers to book their spots in Fukuoka.

Haughey notched a mark of 1:54.77 in the 200 free, which only Mollie O’Callaghan (1:53.83), Summer McIntosh (1:53.91) and Ariarne Titmus (1:54.14) have surpassed this year, all at national selection meets. Haughey, the Olympic silver medalist in the 100 and 200 free (behind Titmus in the longer distance), owns a best time of 1:53.92 that ranks her seventh all-time. Those four swimmers along with potentially American Katie Ledecky and China’s reigning world champion Yang Junxuan figure to battle for the world title next month. In Rome, however, Freya Colbert (1:56.59) and the Netherlands’ Marrit Steenbergen (1:56.68) took second and third, respectively.

Ceccon held off Greek rival Apostolos Christou to win the men’s 100 backstroke, 52.86 to 52.99. Ceccon destroyed the world record in the event at last year’s Worlds with a time of 51.60 while Christou’s best time of 52.09 ranks ninth all-time. Italy’s Simone Stefani grabbed third in 54.16.

Kamminga, meanwhile, took down Italian world champion Nicolo Martinenghi for the top spot in the men’s 100 breaststroke. Martinenghi led by seven hundredths at the halfway point, but Kamminga’s strong finish helped him get to the wall in 59.05, just ahead of Martinenghi’s 59.24, with Germany’s Lucas Matzerath third (1:00.22). Kamminga is the second-fastest performer ever in the event with his 2021 best time of 57.80 while Martinenghi’s 58.26 ranks fifth behind Adam Peaty, Kamminga, Qin Haiyang and Michael Andrew.

Simona Quadarella, the Italian who won the 1500 freestyle world title in 2019 (a race where Ledecky scratched due to illness), easily topped the 30-lap event Friday with a time of 15:53.24. She clipped her season-best time by five hundredths and remains ranked third in the world behind Ledecky and China’s Li Bingjie. Spain’s Angela Martinez Guillen placed second (16:14.95) as she outraced Portugal’s Tamila Hryhorivna Holub (16:16.29) at the finish.

A tight race in the women’s 100 breast went to the Netherlands’ Tes Schouten in 1:06.06 after she came from behind to beat Japan’s Reona Aoki (1:06.09) by three hundredths. Four others swam under 1:07, with Ireland’s Mona McSharry taking third in 1:06.56 ahead of Italians Arianna Castiglioni (1:06.76) and Martina Carraro (1:06.86). Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte, the 2012 Olympic champion in the event who returned from a long hiatus last year to win a world title in the 50 breast, claimed the top spot in the B-final at 1:06.90.

Ben Proud, the world champion in the 50 free last year, topped his main event in 21.68, ranking him third globally behind Cameron McEvoy and Florent Manaudou. Hungary’s Szebasztian Szabo (22.01) and Italy’s Lorenzo Zazzeri (22.07) took second and third, respectively.

On the women’s side, two swimmers earned wins in events in which they are reigning world champions. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom topped the 50 butterfly in 25.25, well ahead of Germany’s Angelina Koehler (26.04) and Sweden’s Louise Hansson (26.05). Sjostrom will aim for a record-tying fifth consecutive world title in the 50 fly later this year. Kylie Masse finished one-quarter of a second clear of the field in the women’s 50 back, with the Canadian clocking 27.76 ahead of Great Britain’s Lauren Cox (28.01) and the Netherlands’ Maaike de Waard (28.07).

Switzerland’s Noe Ponti, the Olympic bronze medalist in the 100 fly, won that event in 51.28, with the Netherlands’ Nyls Korstanje (51.82) and the Italian duo of Piero Codia (51.94) and Federico Burdisso (51.95) also breaking 52. Italy’s Marco De Tullio used a furious final length, in which he out-split countryman Matteo Ciampi by more than 2.5 seconds, to win the 400 free in 3:46.08. Ciampi was second ahead of fellow Italian Matteo Lamberti (3:48.17). Gabriele Detti, the veteran Italian swimmer who won Olympic bronze in this event in 2016, tied for fourth with Ireland’s Dan Wiffen (3:48.81).


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