The bite of a Gator brought Italian nationals to a close in Riccione when Andrea Mitchell D’Arrigo, 19 this year and based with coach Greg Troy and team in Gainesville, swept past Filippo Magnini down the last lap of the 200m freestyle for a 1:47.18 victory.
Italy has a strong and long tradition in challenging for honours over 4x200m freestyle in European waters. This summer in Berlin will be no different after two 1:47s, a 1:48 and five 1:49s completed the 200m freestyle final to bring Italian Spring nationals to a close in Riccione today – though they will need to step up at the back end to make the podium.
The crown went to the young Aurelia Nuoto Unicusano ace in a personal best ahead of Magnini, on 1:47.58 for silver, having led the way for most of the race. The bronze to Marco Belotti in 1:48.98. The first of the 1:49s was Luca Dotto on 1:49.05. In lead-off relay action this week, Belotti clocked 1:47.61, D’Arrigo 1:47.97, Nicolangelo deFabio 1:48.85 and Gabriele Detti 1:48.99. So, good back up strength.
An ocean of water under the bring since Giorgio Lamberti held the world record at 1:46.69 in 1989. That stood for just shy of 10 years until Aussie teen Grant Hackett set his first world record by shaving 0.02sec off the Italian’s standard in 1999.
Big history in the Italian 200m free. The national textile best of 1:46.60 belongs to Massimiliano Rosolino from 2000, the year he lifted the 200IM Olympic crown. Lamberti remains performance No 3, after a second Rosolino swim, while Magni’s best of 1:47.16 from 2007 is on the all-time list at No 6. D’Arrigo set a personal best inside the 1:48.28 in which he took bronze at the World Junior Championships behind Mack Horton (AUS) and James Guy (GBR) last year in Dubai. Great progress for the teenager, now 5th best Italian all-time, Emiliano Brembilla among those just a touch ahead of him on the clock.
D’Arrigo swam his own race in Riccione, trailing the swifter sprinters at the 50 and 100m marks, turning up the beast down the third lap and switching on the burners on the way home.
How the race panned out: