The World Swimming Championships in Budapest 2022 will remain in the history of Italian sport, never so many world champion medals – nine, of which five golds, two silvers and as many bronzes – have been brought home by a blue champion expedition and the symbol and the driver is the its captain, Gregorio Paltrinieri. The Emilian champion dominated the 1500 race, recovering the gold that had been his in 2015 and 2017, also setting the European record, and was the inspiration for many young champions who managed to imitate him, such as Thomas Ceccon, Nicolò Martinenghi, Benedetta Pilato, Simona Quadarella.
The climax of the emotion in the afternoon of the Duna Arena was the 1500 race, which saw the king return to the podium. Paltrinieri, after the disappointment in the 800s, went into the pool full of determination and dominated from the first strokes, setting the new European record in 14’32 “80.” This is a dream – he commented hotly -. They told me I was quoted at 26 and I thought: how dare they! I know I can compete like this, I knew I was worth these times and I proved it. “
His World Championship is not over, because from tomorrow he will start attacking the podium in open water, but for sure it is already unforgettable. Greg gave the ‘there’ to his boys, Thomas Ceccon, Nicolò Martinenghi, Federico Burdisso and Alessandro Miressi. Their mixed 4×100 relay won a gold that alone is worth a world championship for team value, size and relevance. The team, already bronze at the Olympics, proved its worth: World champions Ceccon and Martinenghi opened backstroke and breaststroke in 51 “93 and 57” 47, Burdisso swam the dolphin in 50 “63 and gave the change in Miressi with 4 tenths of advantage over Ryan Held. The blue sprinter swam in 47 “48 and closed with the European record of 3’27” 51, beating the USA and Great Britain. Previously, there had been a podium and return with Ceccon, who had finished fourth in the 50 backstroke but had gone to the medal for the disqualification of the American Justin Ress, then rehabilitated by the jury with consequent relegation of the blue.
The only silver today was won by Benedetta Pilato in the 50 frog. The blue champion of the 100 was the favorite but was mocked by the Lithuanian Ruta Meylutite, winner of everything ten years ago and bronze in the 100. “I could not do less. I had understood it these days – said the 17-year-old -. The start was also wrong and I felt the tension. Having achieved the world record in the spring of 2021 increased the pressure. I had bet everything on this race. The 100 was a surprise. I’m happy for the medal anyway. ” In the last race of the event, Pilato took part in the women’s mixed 4×100 relay, but Italy remained far from the podium. A small disappointment for the first World Cup without Federica Pellegrini who, however, went well beyond expectations. “Incredible day for Italian swimming! – commented on twitter the undersecretary of sport, Valentina Vezzali -. Never won so much at a world championship! Immense Greg Paltrinieri, gold and European record. You are right, never give up, not even when they give you 26 to 1! “.
US APPEAL, AFTER THE AWARDS CECCON COMES BACK FOURTH
The blue Thomas Ceccon, who had finished the race in fourth place on the last day of the World Championships in Budapest but who was awarded bronze after the disqualification of the American Ress, drops from the world podium of the 50 backstrokes. After the award ceremony, with Ceccon on the podium, the US appealed that he was accepted by the jury. Therefore the gold went to Ress, the silver to his compatriot Armstrong, who already had the most precious medal around his neck, and the bronze went to the Polish Masiuk
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