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There are 557 athletes representing 46 LEN nations who will compete between the lanes of the Foro Italico pool at the European Aquatics Championships Roma 2022, which open on 11 August, the first day of competition and run until 17 August. Italy, the host nation team, have the largest representative with 58 male and female athletes, followed by Great Britain with 41 and France and Poland both with 30 athletes. Germany (29), Hungary (26), Sweden (25), the Netherlands (23) and Spain (22) are also among the delegations with the largest number of entries. In men’s swimming the competition presents interesting challenges with experienced athletes and young talents ready to make their mark in the ‘most beautiful pool in the world’.

Recordmen ready to getting excited and amaze
Hungarian superstar Kristof Milak, multiple Olympic and world medallist, is undefeated in the men’s 200m butterfly since the European Championships in Glasgow 2018 and will also test himself in the 100m and 200 m freestyle at Roma 2022. Italian Thomas Ceccon, after setting a world record of 51.60 and producing an extraordinary performance at the world championships in Budapest last June, is looking to shine again in the 100m backstroke in front of his home crowd.

The challenge continues
At the 2016 European Championships in London, Olympic champion Gregorio Paltrinieri won the 800m and 1500m freestyle. Two years later in Glasgow, it was the turn of Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk to take the title in the 800m, with Germany's Florian Wellbrock who was first in the 1500m. At Budapest 2020, it was again Romanchuk who emerged with a double in both the middle distance races. Taking advantage of the absence of the men’s breaststroke world record holder Adam Peaty, it will be a three-way challenge to take the European baton from the Brit, with Italy's Nicolò Martinenghi, newly crowned world champion in the 100m, the Dutchman Arno Kamminga, second in Budapest, and Glasgow 2018 double silver medallist James Wilby. Martinenghi's form at the recent world championships also led Italy to gold in the mixed 4×100 relay (with teammates Ceccon, Federico Burdisso and Alessandro Miressi), a historic victory that could be repeated in Rome in front of their home crowd.

The great return to Rome after the Junior European Championships
Romania’s David Popovici will compete as a senior in the lanes of the Swimming Stadium, the pool that crowned him champion of the men’s 50m, 100m (with the junior world record) and 200m freestyle during last year's Junior European Championships. The world championships in Budapest then consecrated him as the man to beat with his 100m and 200m wins. Poland's Ksawery Masiuk will also return to Rome as favourite after his 50m backstroke world bronze medal in Budapest and his junior triumph in the 50m, 100m and 200m in the Foro Italico pool.

All eyes will also be on Austria's Felix Auboeck, silver medallist in the 400m freestyle at the 2020 European Championships in Budapest, Great Britain's Benjamin Proud, the fastest man in the 50m freestyle at world level, and France's Maxime Grousset, who could rise to prominence during these championships.

Among the rising youngsters, Italy's Lorenzo Galossi is the home favourite. The 16-year-old from Rome will compete in his pool, having won two titles (400m and 800m freestyle) at the European Junior Championships in Otopeni in July.

Among the most experienced athletes in the lanes are two swimmers born in 1988: Italy's Fabio Scozzoli and Hungary's David Verraszto. Scozzoli, 34 years old on 3 August, stood on the top step of the podium three times: in the 50m breaststroke at the 2010 European Championships in Budapest, while two years later in Debrecen he was crowned champion in the 100m breaststroke and in the men's 4x100m medley relay. Verraszto, on the other hand, could bring forward his 34th birthday celebrations to the end of the European Championships by bringing home another medal in the 400m individual medley, the first medal race on the Roma 2022 swimming programme, in the event in which he won three consecutive golds in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

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Photo Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto Use of photographs is only permitted for publications registered for editorial purposes. Credits must be mentioned.

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