Gabriele Detti Puts His Best On Notice With 3:46 Win In Milan 400m For World Rank 2

Gabriele Detti by Patrick B. Kraemer

Gabriele Detti made it a victory apiece between teammates and sparring partners as he took the 400m freestyle win in 3:46.59 at the 6th Città di Milano Trophy

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Gabriele Detti made it a victory apiece between teammates and sparring partners as he took the 400m freestyle win in 3:46.59 at the 6th Città di Milano Trophy


paolo rubbiani

Very interesting improvements from Sara Franceschi (1999): her 2.12.82 in the 200 im is an Italian age group record.

I was sure that Detti was capable of great things in the 400 free. It’s a matter of choices now: better going at Rio and swimming the double 400-1500 free (with the 400 free before the 1500 free) or focusing upon 1500 free where a medal (beside Paltrinieri) is more likely?

Nice consistency in the season for Martina Carraro, and at Nats there will also be Arianna Castiglioni in the 100 breastroke.

Orsi and Sabbioni (and many others..) are expected to perform much better at Nats, after the taper.


Wow, Paolo, your view of the distance swimming world is very Italo-centric :-D. You call TWO medals likely??? I would wait until at least the Canadian, Australian, Chinese and US Trials, to see where our two guys stand relative to the rest of the planet. Rest assured that their competitors are not in it for the fun.

paolo rubbiani

Absolutely not italo-centric, Luigi: in Italian forum, instead, I’m considered quite British-Usa-Australian-Canadian etc etc swimming fan, because I really follow and appreciate the growth of every swimming nation in the planet. Moreover I’m absolutely far from any form of sciovinism (but also to be against some nations is a form of sciovinism..)

I wrote another thing (I think rather easy, commonplace, trite): that for Detti a medal in 1500 free is more likely than in 400 free, not that two Italian medals in 1500 free are likely.

Anyway, if we talk about two possible Italian medals in 1500 free, I think that after what Paltrinieri and Detti have shown in Milan, the chances are absolutely there (in an Italian forum I’ ve given a 50% chances for the double medal AT THE MOMENT), because, if we’re considering Detti ((Paltrinieri is a certainty, I think that even Luigi agrees..) his 14.48 swum at Milan 1) is better than the 14.51.08 swum from Cochrane for the bronze medal in Kazan 2) More important thing, this 14.48 was swum untapered and unshaved.

Now, everyone knows that in a Olympic year the level of races is going to increase, and it’s likely that it will happen also for 1500 free, but if a not-Italian swimmer had swum a 14.48 untapered and unshaved, I think that “oooh” and “wooow” from everywhere would have been many, many more.

So, I think that my view is absolutely neutral: I judge a 14.40 and a 14.48 untapered, a month before the Italian trials, for what they deserve to be judged: great, great times and why the swimmer who has swum a 14.48 in those conditions can’t seen like a medal-threat in that race? Because he’s Italian?

paolo rubbiani

Edit: Why the swimmer who has swum a 14.48 in those conditions can’t BE seen like a medal-threat in that race?


Paolo I knew I was forcing the meaning of your words a little bit. Just a little bit 🙂
I dont like to consider Olympic medals as a given because nothing can be taken for granted at the Olympics
The only swimmer in the world I would put my money on is Ledecky
However i admit Detti is a great hope because he has found his gear at the right time. I like him a lot technically, very classic stroke.
Probably you are right, he should go for the 1500, it takes 3:44 at least to medal in the 400 and it’s unlikely he can drop another two seconds

paolo rubbiani

Well, really I haven’t said that Detti should go for the 1500 free, I’ve just stated the problem..

I don’t know which will be Morini’s choice for his nephew (so it’s Detti for Morini). Probably a decision will be taken after Primaverili at Riccione considering Detti’s result in the 400 free.

Certainly, to maximize the chances of Olympic medal, swimming fresh heats and (hopefully) final of 1500 free could be the most prudential choice, so THE CHOICE for Detti at his first Olympics.
But we’ll see.., after what I have seen in Milan, it is difficult for me making predictions about Detti’s improvements, even in the short-term.


I don’t know if 3:44 is enough to medal in Rio. Yes, last year Cochrane swam 3:44 to get bronze, but I consider last year’s 400 free to quite slow. The top two seeds from Australia, Horton and mcKeon didn’t even final.

So far, there are seven active swimmers who have swum sub 3:44. Men 400 free has stagnated since Thorpe and Horton retired and Yang* and Park* could not take it to the next level and I think it will take at least 3:43 to medal. Between Yang, Park (if he goes to Rio), Horton, mcKeon, and Guy they all can swim 3:42 or faster. And don’t forget the young americans such as Clark smith. Americans usually perfecting their peak timely for the Olympics. Cochrane too whose Pb is a 3:43 may still have more drop in 400.


since Thorpe and Hackett retired

paolo rubbiani

For many races we have to expect trials’ results to have a clear picture, but for 400 free that is particularly true.
I remember last year heats in Kazan: rather slow and with great surprises. In general 400 free is a distance where surprises always happened in the main events and without great specialists like Park (I think he won’t race at Rio) and, for instance, that Zhang Lin seen between 2008-2009 and then completely disappeared, the field could be quite open behind Sun (but which Sun we’ll see in this season?) and Guy (solid performer). I think that Hagino will be in the mix for the medals, great question marks about the two Aussies (Horton is potentially a main factor but we don’t know if he will regain his best shape for Rio, also David McKeon has huge potential for the distance but, until now, he has underperformed in the main events), and about European Champ Stjepanovic (absolutely strong, but he approaches the 400 free swimming very quickly the first half of the race and trying to hang on, so we can’t consider him at the moment a 400 free-specialist). Among British swimmers, beside Guy, I think that Milne has a good potential for this race, but he has to prove that.
Cochrane is another likely medal contender as he has shifted his focus also upon 400 free at least from Commonwealth Games 2014, when he upset the favorite McKeon.
The Usa? No certainties in the 400 free, with a Dwyer perhaps more 200 free-oriented (also for the relay) and a Jaeger perhaps more 1500 free-oriented (the tremendous workload he’s doing suggests that). Clark Smith has received nice words from an historic trainer like Reese, but in LC he has to show a lot. And Agnel? He won’t swim the 400 free.
So, a few solid, sure values and many variables and uncertainties: the best scenario for young swimmers born in ’96 to have a role in this race.


You are right, Aswimfan, 3:44 won’t make the cut as they say. I was too conservative.

Let’s hope some young prodigy can give us a great swim in the 200 and 400 free, both races have been kind of slow after London.

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