We The Italians | Italian sport: Thomas Ceccon, the Italian shark

Italian sport: Thomas Ceccon, the Italian shark

Italian sport: Thomas Ceccon, the Italian shark

  • WTI Magazine #168 Oct 21, 2023
  • 1495

Since the arrival of the new millennium, Italian swimming has exploded at the world level. Throughout the last century, Italy had never achieved great results in international competitions, or at least only on a few occasions.

Since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Italian swimmers have been winning relentlessly, and legendary champions such as Massimiliano Rosolino, Domenico Fioravanti, Filippo Magnini, Gregorio Paltrinieri, and the greatest sprinter of all time, Federica Pellegrini, have been born.

Then in recent years, at the European level, Italy has always dominated in the various competitions, becoming the greatest continental power. Since 2021, there is an Italian who is surprising the swimming world, because he has been able to win 28 medals in three different styles and over different distances in the five most important international competitions: Olympic Games, World Championships, and European Championships in long and short pools.

His name is Thomas Ceccon, a nice young man of 22, born in Thiene, a small town in the province of Vicenza, Veneto, who in 2018 at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires won gold in the 50 freestyle, silver in the 50 backstroke and 200 medley, bronze in the 100 backstroke and in the 4x100 mixed relay. Five medals that made him one of the most successful athletes of that Olympic edition.

Three years after those youthful successes, Ceccon began to win in absolute international competitions, including the two most prestigious medals of his career, silver in the 4x100 freestyle and bronze in the 4x100 mixed at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

After winning medals in Japan and until last August in Fukuoka, where the World Championships were held, the swimmer from Veneto won 3 golds, 2 silvers and a bronze at the World Championships in the long stroke in the backstroke, butterfly, freestyle and mixed, 4 golds, 2 silvers and 4 bronzes at the world championships in the short course in the freestyle and mixed, 4 golds and a silver at the European Championships in the long course in the backstroke, butterfly, freestyle and mixed, and a gold, 2 silvers and a bronze at the European Championships in the short course in the butterfly, backstroke and mixed.

An impressive number of medals won in just three years by this young swimmer who, still has many years of his career ahead of him. In addition to the victories, Ceccon also has an all-time record for what concerns Italian swimming.

In 2022, at the Bupadest World Championships he set the world record in the 100 backstroke (51'60), becoming the second Italian ever in the men's field to break a world record (the first was Giorgio Lamberti in 1989 in the 200 freestyle). In the same year, at the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, with the Italian team he set the world record in the 4x100 freestyle relay (3'02''75), becoming the only Italian in history able to break two world records.

Thomas, a simple and sunny boy, seems to have been born with a shark fin because when he enters the water he not only swims fast, but also intimidates every opponent with his explosive strength and aggressive swim. He is one of those athletes destined to become a legend in sports, and at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris 2024 he can accomplish a great feat by aiming to win several races in all styles.