The 20th World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, concluded today, July 30. Between July 14 and 30, the elite of our national team competed against champions from across the world in two high-intensity weeks.
A nice balance, but with some reservations
There isn’t much to complain about for water sports enthusiasts. Our athletes, in addition to raising the national flag, have once again demonstrated the quality of the Italian national swimming fabric.
The medal collection closed with 14 medals, compared to the much brighter 22 of the 20th edition, which took place in Budapest between July 17 and August 3, 2022. Is it a failure? Certainly not. Despite a dip in performance and, more importantly, a difficult legacy from the previous year to confirm, our lads have brought prestige to Italian swimming.
It is important to remember Gregorio Paltrinieri‘s inferior physical condition, as well as his enormous sense of duty. With a total of 100 medals and a European Record in the middle (1500 m), he returns home from Fukuoka with gold in the 6 km open water relay and silver in the 5 km open water. Additionally, the 29-year-old athlete had to withdraw from the 1500-meter final to prevent exacerbating his health.
Unluckily, many misfortunes have befallen our Fukuoka-based boys. Like Thomas Ceccon‘s silver medal in the 50 m backstroke, who could not reach the top step of the podium for only 5 cents. Nonetheless, we are confident that you have rightfully consoled yourself with the world gold of the 50 m butterfly. Congratulations, Thomas!
Nicolò Martinenghi, born in 1999, has also proven his brilliance in the field of tank swimming for many years. Silver in the 100 m breaststroke. After the results of the 50 m breaststroke and 4×100 mixed male relay, he was left with a bad taste in his mouth.
“I felt like yesterday afternoon, very heavy and different from the usual, I don’t know what it was,” he said after the race. “Something went wrong since the medal was cheap. The same is ok. I’ll discuss the race dynamics with my coach. Today was not a good day for Italy; some humiliation is required in order to evolve and continue in the next race.”
A champion’s mentality, as we’ve come to expect. It is difficult to confirm every year that they are at the top of the globe, and they are well aware of this.
Benedetta Pilato also stands out, as she managed to finish third in the 50 m breaststroke despite a challenging year filled with tests, licensure exams, and personal problems. A good outcome that gives optimism for the future. We are confident that this young star born in 2003 will repeat her successes with a little more peace of mind in the future.
Dive, artistic swimming, and water polo: Italy is felt here as well
The Fukuoka championship covered also diving, artistic swimming, and water polo.
Moreover, Chiara Pellacani and Matteo Santoro won a bronze medal in the 3m mixed synchro dip. Italy takes the bottom step of the podium once more, this time with Elena Bertocchi and Chiara Pellacani in the 3m synchronous women’s trampoline.
In water polo, Fukuoka celebrated a historic win for the women’s team, the setterosa. In reality, a world medal had been missing since 2015, and a lovely bronze medal ended the fast.
Swimming for art was no exception. Linda Cerruti and Lucrezia Ruggiero won a silver medal in the specialty “Technical mixed teams” .
Now, recover and prepare for the Olympics in 2024.
A well-deserved recuperation for the Italian swimming squad, with an eye on the most significant event, the most prized. The 2024 Olympics in Paris. The XXXIII Edition will be held from July 26 to August 11, and our boys will be well-prepared.
We can only wish him a healthy rest and much success in the future!