Statement from President of the local organizing committee

Even Saturday morning, Brazilian swimmers are on fire. Two news American records, set by José Ronaldo da Silva (100 S1 back, 3.02.68 lowering his own personal best of 3.03.18) and Joao Pedro Brutos de Oliveira (100 SB14 breast 1.05.57, lowering the former record of the teammate Gabriel Bandeira 1.06.31), Gabriel Geraldo Dos Santos Araujo (50 S2 free 55.45, former 55.52).

We met the always-busy president of the Local organizing committee (LOC) Daniele Zotti, for the first time in charge tooking over from Francesco Bettella.


How do you live this event from the command deck?

There is not much of a difference, I’m on the LOC from the first edition in 2018, so I know what to do. Now I have more duties, but I have a great team and I’m fully confident. We’re happy and a bit surprised to have so many swimmers here in Lignano. We didn’t expect so many entries from abroad due to the Covid pandemic. I think we did well in the past years, so our foreign friends have trusted us.


Everything is working at its best. How far in advance did you start to organize the event?

365 days. Before we finish, we’re already thinking about the next edition. The specific operations start six months before.


Volunteers are a key element of the organization. How do you recruit them? Do the media hype on para swimming in the past years make things easier?

In the early years we had a great help from the schools, that has lacked due to Covid. Today we primarily rely on parents, relatives and friends, but actually we see more and more people and organizations getting closer to our world.


Passion is the key. Once the lights go out, what’s left?

So much. The warmth of the people, a growing movement, more and more boys and girls who discover the beautiful world of para swimming. We’re all volunteers with families and friends involved, we spend a lot of time and money, but it is absolutely worth it.



While the Bella Italia EFA Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro are boiling due to the Para Swimming World Series swimmers’ warm up, we meet the head coaches of the main international teams. Here is a short interview with Leonardo (Leo) Tomasello (BRA) and Jacquie Marshall (UK)


World Series Lignano 2022
Photo: Pietro Rizzato © 2022

First of all, how do you like it here in Lignano?

Jacquie: everything is fine here, the pool is very good, the accommodation has been fine

Leo: The location is very good, the accommodation, the swimming pool, the weather: everything is perfect. We’ve just been there in the previous years and every time is better: a more professional staff, a better organized swimming pool.


How was your trip to Lignano? Did you have restrictions due to Covid regulations?

Leo: In Brazil there aren’t particular restrictions, so we took off and arrived in Europe, spent some time with the connections and here we are.

Jacquie: no, we didn’t have to test to come out in that we’re fully vaccinated, so the trip has been relaxing

World Series Lignano 2022
Photo: Pietro Rizzato © 2022

How is the health situation in your country? Are swimming pools open? Can you train regularly?

Leo: As I said, in Brazil life is relatively normal, so our swimmers live and train without any particular problems.

Jacquie: our national swimming program is working fine, so we can train each day.


What do you expect from this World Series leg? Did you finalize the training to this competition or is it just a step closer to the World Championships in Madeira?

Leo: We’re here mainly to prepare the Brazilian trials to build the team for the World Championsips. We have a lot of swimmers, so the competition is high and the trials are a kay event.

Jacquie: we’re here with many young swimmers, some of them have just been classified, a new generation of athletes on their first international stage. They are training to compete at international level


What do you expect from your swimmers? And which swimmers from other countries are you keeping your eyes on?

Leo: We have a historic rivalry with the Italian team, that will be very motivated to achieve great results in their home swimming pool, so we will watch carefully Carlotta Gilli, Stefano Raimondi, and of course “the landlord” Antonio Fantin.

Jacquie: I don’t spend much time looking at the other athletes. I like to watch the other teams train and compete, trying to learn anything from everybody, but I prefer to stay focused on my swimmers.


Let’s close this first round of interviews with the head coach of the Italian national team Riccardo Vernole.

World Series Lignano 2022
Photo: Pietro Rizzato © 2022

 What do you expect from this World Series leg? Did you finalize the training to this competition or is it just a step closer to the World Championships in Madeira?

 This is a very important event for us: the first chance to qualify to the World championships for the younger athletes. After Tokyo we decided to leave your top swimmers quiet, so we made eligible to the World championships all the athletes in the 2021 world top 5 ranking.


Which are the Italian swimmers to keep eyes on?

 Antonio Fantin for sure, he lives here and trains in this pool, se he will be fully motivated to great racing. He has two fierce opponents, Nelson Crispin (COL) in the 100 and Phelipe Rodrigues in the 400m free events. I’m expecting an extremely focused Brazilian team, it will be a great fight!