CITI World Series Finals Day 1

Italy Dominates the Men’s 100m Freestyle Podium and Soars to the Top of the Medal table after the first evening of finals in Lignano

The first evening of finals at the CITI World Series in Lignano concluded with some performances that illuminated the pool of Bella Italia. The men’s 100m freestyle, which kicked off the evening program, saw an all-Italian podium with Antonio Fantin claiming victory in 1:02.72 (S6 1031 pts), Simone Barlaam for the second place with a time of 53.96 (S9 1019 pts), and Federico Bicelli clinching the bronze in 1:00.71 (S7 1001 pts). The three Azzurri also marked the only three scores in the final of the event exceeding a thousand points, starting in the best possible way the home staging. Fantin, after improving his world record in the morning heats, came close to his limit again in the final, swimming just 2 hundredths off the fresh record (1:02.70).

“We are just a short time away from the Paralympics in Paris, time flies. This is a good starting point for this very important season, but there are still many races ahead, starting with the 400m and 50m freestyle in the coming days. I hope this was just the beginning. The beauty of the Village here in Lignano is having the pool just a few meters from the room and being able to breathe this magical atmosphere that, six months in advance, gives us a taste of what we will experience at the Games,” declared the champion of the Men’s S6 100m Freestyle at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Gold in the Women’s 100m Freestyle went to Britain’s Alice Tai in the S8 class with 989 pts, silver to Italy’s Xenia Palazzo just 9 points behind, and bronze to Paralympic swimming legend Jessica Long from the USA.

The Men’s 100m Breaststroke delivered a truly special podium with 3 athletes sharing the second step, earning 909 points each. The victory went to the neutral athlete Rodion Berdnik in 1:08.96 (SB14) with a score of 935 pts, while second place was shared by Firdavsbek Musabekov (SB13) from Uzbekistan, Dmytro Vanzenko (SB14) from Ukraine, and Edgaras Matakas (SB11) from Lithuania.

The British Women’s team narrowly missed a clean sweep in the 100m Breaststroke, with French athlete Assya Maurin Espiau taking silver (SB14 951pts), joining British swimmers Olivia Newman-Baronius (SB14, gold with 968 pts) and Grace Harvey (SB5, bronze with 920 pts) on the podium.

After one day of competition, the medal table saw Italy leading with 2 golds, 2 silvers, and 1 bronze, followed by Great Britain with 2 golds and 1 bronze. The United States rounds off the provisional podium with 3 medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze).