Belgrade 2023: Italy claim relay golden double

István Derencsényi – LEN

By Nick Hope
Aquatics correspondent in Serbia

The Italian 4x100m freestyle relay teams closed out a fascinating opening night at the LEN European Junior Swimming Championships in Serbia with stunning victories in the women’s and men’s finals.

The women were the first to take to the water and after a strong opening first leg the Italian quartet of Sara Curtis, Mariana Cacciapuoti, Christina Stevanato and Matilde Biagiotti took a lead they maintained throughout the following three.

Italy finished in three minutes 40.60 seconds, with Hungary (3:41.39) taking silver and Great Britain (3:43.37) bronze but just 0.29 secs from Germany who were fourth.

István Derencsényi – LEN

The evening concluded with the men’s 4x100m freestyle and the Italian fans were again celebrating in the stands after their team overtook the French to claim another gold.

Italy’s line-up of Carlos D’Ambrosio, Lorenze Ballarati, Gianluca Messina and Davide Passafaro finished in 3:17.87 with France second and Lithuania third.

Earlier Hungarian Vivien Jackl had claimed the first title of Belgrade 2023 with a dominant display in the women’s 400m individual medley final in Serbia.

Despite being the youngest athlete in the field the 14-year-old produced a mature display to finish in a four minutes 40.66 seconds and improve on the bronze medal she claimed at the 2022 edition in Romania.

Lisa Nystrand of Sweden produced a strong fight-back to claim silver (4:45.06), with Louna Kasvio of Finland (4:46.82) taking bronze.

István Derencsényi – LEN

LEN EJSC 2023 MEDALLIST REACTION:

GOLD – WOMEN’S 4x100M FREESTYLE RELAY – SARA CURTIS – ITALY 

“It was amazing, we were very excited to do this relay so we’re very happy what we did in the race.”

GOLD – WOMEN’S 4x100M FREESTYLE RELAY – CRISTINA STEVANATO – ITALY 

“I’m so happy to be here and have this experience. I worked so hard for this medal and I’m so happy to be here and to know that I’m going onto the podium makes me so grateful.”

István Derencsényi – LEN

GOLD – MEN’S 4x100M FREESTYLE RELAY – DAVIDE PASSAFARO – ITALY 

“It’s fantastic, it’s our first gold medal in the European Championships champions and we’re so happy, this is amazing!”

GOLD – WOMEN’S 400M INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – VIVIEN JACKL – HUNGARY

“I can’t believe it, I’m so shocked right now,” she told LEN. “The time is really great, that was the plan to swim a great time and with that came the gold medal. I am so happy with it, so tired right now, but so thankful to everyone who helped me achieve this.

“It was a lifetime goal for me and I’m so happy I could participate in this event because I’m so much younger than the other girls.” 

István Derencsényi – LEN