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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Thomas Ceccon crowns the Italian revolution with the world record of 100 backstroke swims

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The laws of fluid dynamics, sensuality, epistemology and superstition have helped to spread the belief among swimmers that it warns them about the braking effect of hair in the aquatic environment. Mark Spitz challenged these fears in 1972. Not since then record man Reached the World Cup with a mustache. Thomas Ceccon was the daring one this Monday who broke with mental inertia. He did it calmly, with balance, and kept the same stroke frequency from the first to the last meter of the 100-back final at the World Championships in Budapest. An accuracy prodigy that allowed him to accelerate on the final pitch to pass Ryan Murphy before touching the final wall in 51.60 seconds. No less than 25 hundredths faster than the world record set by Murphy himself at the 2016 Rio Games.

The tall Italian – he measures 1.96 – from Thiene, province of Vicenza, was eccentric in every gesture. He turned to the scoreboard and, seeing the lights that marked him as a hero of these World Championships, he neither climbed the cable car, nor whipped the water, nor howled as all winners do, mimicking the outpourings of Michael Phelps. He just pouted and lay quietly under the water for a moment before walking back the way he came.

Murphy hadn’t swum that fast in three years. His departure was barbaric. He entered the water first and came out of the corner first, ready to end the race in the final 70 metres. Ceccon stayed cool. Contrary to biomechanical and physiological norms, which force swimmers to increase the stroke rate so that fatigue causes the body to sink more into the water, the Italian took 34 strokes in the first 50 and in the second only 33 strokes would be normal 35 or been 36.

“He swam at an exceptionally low rate,” noted Raúl Arellano, the Spanish federation’s biomechanist. “It’s very rare and due to exceptional technique.” Ceccon saved energy after the flip with up to nine dolphin kicks, 15 meters underwater, avoiding the surface, which offers more resistance than depth. The contrast of his harmonious progression with the spectacular and frothing Murphy in the thundering final meters was evident. Where the American struggled against the liquid, Ceccon slid like a surfboard.

“Evolution towards speed”

Ceccon’s feat appears to be no accident. Nicolò Martinenghi attempted the gold in the 100m breaststroke. Italy is the European country most opposed to United States domination. He achieves this thanks to his phenomenal sprinters. Unlike Spain, where the trend is for everyone to do their own thing, the Italians have put together a real team.

“We saw an evolution towards speed,” explains Claudio Rossetto, the coach who discovered Filippo Magnini and changed his country’s culture. “We started in 2000. Until then we had won titles at distances of 200 and 400 meters. We found contentment in the middle ground. Now Thomas Ceccon or Alessandro Miressi and many others like them have shared a method and have grown together. If they hadn’t competed with each other in practice, they wouldn’t have developed like this.”

Under the tutelage of Alberto Burlina, his supervisor at the Federal Center’s swimming pool in Verona, “the teacher” as Ceccon says, the swimmer developed into an excellent free swimmer and a fabulous backstroke swimmer. “He was lucky to train continuously during the pandemic in Verona, which was a happy island in 2020, thanks to the support of the federation,” Burlina said. “Although he could not compete, he was forged with the group of sprinters from Rossetto.” With them he won silver in the 4×100 relay at the Tokyo Games and bronze in Budapest. Thanks to them, he refined the sense of combat that made possible the first world record at these world championships.

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Source elpais.com

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