Mora wins World silver and helps Italy to European relay record

Lorenzo Mora won five medals at Abu Dhabi 2021 – images from FINA and LEN

Lorenzo Mora secured individual silver and helped the Italian mixed 4x50m medley relay team to second, in a new European record, on day two at the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Australia.

The team’s success came 24 hours after Italy’s 4x100m freestyle line-up claimed gold and a new world record on the opening night of Melbourne 2022.

Mora and his three team-mates – Nicolo Martinenghi, Silvia di Pietro and Costanza Cocconcelli – battled eventual winners USA hard throughout a fascinating mixed 4×50 relay final and it took a new world record – of one minutes 35.15 seconds from the Americans to beat the Italians.

Both nations went under the previous record time, set by the Netherlands last year, which stood at 1:36.18; which meant Italy’s time of 1:36.01 was therefore a new European record.

Mora went on to claim individual 100m backstroke silver, behind Olympic and World champion Ryan Murphy of America.

Nicolo Martinenghi dives in for the medley 4x50m relay event – Image Martin Philbey / FINA.

Martinenghi also returned later in the evening and secured the quickest time in the 100m breaststroke semi-finals, winning the second semi in 56.01.

“I’m feeling good and this feels like my World Championships because last year I had doubts after a long season,” he told FINA TV.

“Tomorrow (the final) will be fun, I’ll enjoy that. It’s great to see Adam Peaty back in the competition and it will be a difficult final so we will see.”

Britain’s Adam Peaty, competing in a World Short Course Championships for the first time since 2014, won the first semi-final in 56.42.

(Left to right) Noe Ponti, Nicholas Santos and Szebasztian Szabo (Photo: Morgan Hancock / FINA)

Noe Ponti of Switzerland was another European medal winner on the second night of competition at Melbourne 2022.

The Olympic 100m butterfly bronze medallist claimed silver in the 50m fly final, behind 42-year-old Brazilian Nicholas Santos, who secured gold in his final race before retirement.

Hungarian Szebasztian Szabo took third.

Romania’s breakout star of 2022 David Popovici warmed up for Thursday’s 100m freestyle final with a new World Junior record of 45.91 seconds in the semi-finals.

“I didn’t expect to set another world junior record this year as I didn’t think I would swim this fast,” he said after the race.

“Sometimes I am my biggest critic, so it’s looking good and I’ll learn more in the final.”