The Foro Italico Showdown is nearly ready to get underway with 46 FINA Member Federations competing at the European Championships starting this Friday. The competition should be stout, with 14 individual European titlists from the 19th FINA World Championships looking to hold their respective titles in the continental event.
Swimming helps kick off the five-sport event, running from 11-17 August followed up by the open water swimming action from 18-21 August. For the full schedule and competition programme, check out the official Roma 2022 event website.
Fans will be back on the stands in the Italian capital for the final major long-course showcase of the swimming season as 557 swimmers from the 46 European federations set to enter the starting blocks.
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The magnificent Foro Italico will be the athletes’ stage, with the venue hosting its first major international event here after the complex hosted the 2009 edition of the FINA World Championships. That was the second FINA World Championships edition here as Rome also played host in 1994.
Now the Italian capital is set to stage its second European Championships too, with the first edition held in 1983.
Back then 30 events were in the programme, now 43 finals are schedules. This line-up includes the unique 4x200m mixed free relay, an event contested only at the European Championships.
Rome 2009 | World Record legacy still vivid
Thirteen years ago at the 13th FINA World Championships saw a flood of FINA World Records. Forty-three, in fact – thanks in no small part to “super-suits.” The following season, FINA put regulations in place for a return to textile swim race suits.
Following the ban on super-suits in 2010, many thought it would take decades before new world records were set during international aquatics events. After a decade of athletic progression, aquatics competitors have demonstrated that swimming has moved beyond the super-suit era. This includes Caeleb Dressel last summer breaking Michael Phelps’ seemingly transcendent sub-50 second performance in the 100m butterfly set at the FINA World Championships 2009 in Rome.
Rome 2009’s still-standing World Records
Still, there are seven world records still on the books from Rome 2009. These are…
100m free: 46.91 by Cesar Cielo (BRA)
200m free: 1:42.00 by Paul Biedermann (GER)
400m free: 3:40.07 by Paul Biedermann (GER)
800m free: 7:32.12 by Zhang Lin (CHN)
200m back: 1:51.92 by Aaron Peirsol (USA)
4x200m free: 6:58.55 by USA.
200m free: 1:52.98 by Federica Pellegrini (ITA)
Youngsters and Veterans
A 14-year-old Hana Beiqi from Kosovo will be the youngest competitor in the field, she was born on 8 September 2008.
Italy’s Lorenzo Galossi is the youngest male swimmer, he turned 16 in May and he is fresh from winning two titles (400-800m free) at the junior Europeans in Otopeni last month.
Spain’s Jessica Vall (33) a two-time silver medallist in the 200m breaststroke (2016, 2018) is the oldest among the women while Italy’s three-time European champion Fabio Scozzoli (34) who celebrated his birthday earlier this month, is the most senior male swimmer.
New European titlists to be crowned
In Rome, new European champions will be awarded in 16 individual events (seven women, nine men) as the 2021 title-holders will not participate. However, the 14 aforementioned reigning FINA World Championships from earlier this summer in Budapest (out of 34 individual events) will be looking to add more titles to their sporting resumes.
Since the last edition,, a number of former champions have decided to step away from the sport. Six-time Olympic medallist Hungarian Laszlo Cseh, who won 14 individual long course European titles competed in a record 10 editions between 2002 and 2021.
Among the women, Italy’s 200m freestyle queen Federica Pellegrini (whose world record from Rome 2009 is still standing), and two Dutch greats, Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk, who won three titles in Budapest 2021 between them have retired since last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Who to Watch
Want more insight into swimmers and their intriguing storylines heading into the European Championships? Here you go:
The Roma 2022 Stats and Facts are all courtesy of the LEN Communications team.