Victories for Thomas Ceccon, Katarzyna Wasick, Ilaria Cusinato and Beryl Gastaldello as well as a new national record for Tes Schouten of the Netherlands were among the major European highlights on day one of the Fina Swimming World Cup in Berlin.
17 European swimmers finished in the top-three across the 12 finals on day one of the three-leg series which next heads to Toronto before concluding in Indianapolis.
Italian Cusinato was better known as an individual medley specialist earlier in her career but has made significant improvements in the 200m butterfly event and followed up her European bronze with a maiden World Cup gold in the discipline.
It came after something of a pre-race suit scare.
“I broke two suits, so this was a replacement at the last second,” she told Fina after victory in 2:05.30. “Clearly the adrenaline worked and plus I love Berlin and this pool because every time I come here I do a good performance.”
Finland’s Laura Lahtinen was second in a new national record time of 2:05.61.
Schouten entered the day with a 200m breaststroke personal best of 2:24.02, but over the course of the heats and the final she knocked off her PB and lowered the national record twice.
The Dutch swimmer finished in 2:19.55, with Denmark’s Thea Blomsterberg second and Abbie Wood of Great Britain third.
“It was pretty unexpected as the national record was 2 minutes 21 and this morning my personal best was 2.24, so I was like ‘OH!’,” said the swimmer.
“I never considered myself to be a short-course swimmer before, but I guess now I am!”
Ceccon, who set a new 100m backstroke world record at the 2022 Fina World Championships before claiming European 50m butterfly gold this year, again demonstrated his versatility with victory in the 100m individual medley final.
The Italian touched in 51.52 seconds to deny 400m winner Matt Sates of South Africa a second victory of the night.
French swimmer Beryl Gastaldello produced a similarly impressive finish to claim victory by just 0.06 secs in the women’s 100m individual medley ahead of USA’s Beata Nelson, with Anastasia Gorbenko of Israel third.
Poland’s Katarzyna Wasick claimed an impressive 50m freestyle victory in a high-class field, while London 2012 Olympic champion Florent Manaudou of France took third in the men’s 50m freestyle.
European 800m champion Isabelle Gose secured the host’s first swimming medal of the 2022 Berlin World Cup with bronze in the 400m freestyle event. Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong took the 400m gold, with Barbora Seemanova of Czech Republic second.
There were also top-three finishes for fellow Europeans Yohanna Ndoye-Brouard of France and Poland’s Radoslas Kawecki (200m back – second and third), Danas Rapsys of Lithuania (400m free – third), Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands (50m back – third).
European medallists Switzerland’s Noe Ponti and Matteo Rivolta of Italy took second and third in the men’s 100m fly, with countryman Nicolo Martinenghi third in the 100m breaststroke.
For a full run-down of the results, head to the Fina Swimming World Cup website.