Italy’s Nicolo Martinenghi was fully in line with the FINA World Championships’ motto: indeed, he made history by clinching Italy’s first-ever world title in the men’s breaststroke events. After his win in the 100m, he was keen to share his thoughts at a session-ending press conference.
The Italian, who was a bronze medallist at the Olympics behind the king of the stroke, Adam Peaty and Dutchman Arno Kamminga, now stormed to a World Championship gold, passing Kamminga and all others over the homecoming leg.
He said the venue and host city itself was very inspiring for him. “Budapest is the city that I’m happy to go to. When I was younger, I was here in 2017 at World Championships and last year at the European Championships and today I’ve won my first gold medal in my first final. Also, it’s a historical win as it is the first gold medal for Italy in breaststroke.”
Just like in his immediate comment after the race, Nicolo didn’t fail to hail Adam Peaty at the conference either. “Adam Peaty inspired me until I was 15 and now I’m happy to be the guy staying in his position, but he is planning to come back in August so let’s see what the future brings.”
He was junior world champion in 2017 and 2021 was his breakthrough year on the top level, he reached the Olympic podium in Tokyo and then won his first senior title on the big stage last November in Kazan, coming first at the short-course Europeans.
“I’ve grown a lot physically in the past five years but from a different point of view, I’ve grown a lot mentally as well. I know what I have to do, I know how to recover and how to spend less energy” he described his improvement.
Then he summed up what an athlete is for at this level. “We are here to dream big and if you can dream it, you can do it and today it was absolutely true. In the last 25 meters, I had more energy and I saw the others were behind me and I wanted to win the gold.”
Photo: Simone Castrovillari/LEN