Newly crowned European champion Thomas Ceccon (ITA): "Singing the national anthem together with the Italian fans was extraordinary"
Thomas Ceccon returned to Italy as world champion and world record holder in the men's 100m backstroke, and yesterday, in Rome, he also won his first European title in the 50m butterfly.
"Competing in Italy is amazing," the 21-year-old swimmer says, "I don't know whether the excitement was as high as for the Budapest world record, but swimming at home has a different taste. Yesterday was unforgettable.You can feel the warmth of the crowd, not only when you win, but also when you get through a heat or semifinal, and when your name is called and you enter the pool. At the end of the race I asked for the audience's applause, I never do that, but being here I had to. Singing the national anthem together with the Italian fans was extraordinary."
There were some special fans on the stands. "My parents came to watch my races for the first time, I could not perform badly," he says.
He also has a particular thought toward a friend in life and in sports. "I dedicate yesterday's gold to my friend Noe Ponti. He used to swim backstroke too and we used to compete together."
Plans for the future? "After Budapest I cut my hair, now I want to grow it out and get to a ponytail," he adds.
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