The national team on everyone’s lips right now is the Italian swimming team. Ceccon, Burdisso and Miressi are names you hear more and more, and it’s no surprise. At the latest European and world swimming championships they wiped out the competition. The Canary Islands are a regular port of call on the training calendar of this young, strong, committed team that trains hard to stay at the top. After their time in the Islands, the Italian team smashed records and toppled giants as huge as the US swimming team. So what do they think about this destination for training?
At the 2022 European Aquatics Championships, held in Rome, the Italian swimmers swept the field. Thomas Ceccon (backstroke), Nicolas Martinenghi (breaststroke), Matteo Rivolta (butterfly) and Alessandro Miressi (freestyle) took the gold medal in the men’s 4x100m medley relay, and across the event the Italian team bagged 13 gold, 13 silver and nine bronze medals.
And they did their preparation here, in the Canary Islands. The team members gathered, as they usually do, at Tenerife Top Training (T3), in the south of the island of Tenerife, to prepare for an event where they swept the field.
We train in the Canary Islands because it’s a wonderful place thanks to the climate.
The man in charge of their training calendar, coach Claudio Rossetto, was very clear: “We train in the Canary Islands because it’s a wonderful place thanks to the climate. Tenerife is the island of eternal spring and the weather’s always fantastic here - hot, but not too hot. When it’s normally very cold in Italy, you can swim.
The team came to the training centre to recover after the 2022 World Championship, in Budapest, where they also set the bar very high by beating the United States and winning the highest number of medals ever for an Italian swimming team.
The gold in the 4x100m medley and the bronze in the 4x100m freestyle went to Alessandro Miressi, a regular visitor to the Islands who also took the title of European champion in 2018 and world short course champion in 2021. After a first trip to Gran Canaria in 2017, he trained at Tenerife Top Training in 2018, 2019 and 2022. “It’s a beautiful place to train because you feel good here, it’s quiet, it’s a lovely facility and a perfect place for swimmers, because we have the right conditions, swimming here in the warmth, in the sun,” he says.
Miressi also highlights the specialist sports centre facilities: “It’s fantastic swimming in an outdoor pool, in such a peaceful place”, he says, adding that “the swimming flume’s really useful for trying out different things during our work in the water”. His training at the sports centre definitely paid off. In Rome he tookt wo gold medals, in the 4×100m freestyle and 4×100m medley, anda silver medal in the 100m freestyle.
The swimming flume at Tenerife Top Training is very useful for trying out different things during our work in the water.
Federico Burdisso, two-time Olympic medallist at Tokyo 2020 (bronze in the 200m butterfly and 4x100m relay) also won a gold medal at Budapest. This year was his first visit to the Canary Islands, where he highlights the “good weather you always have and the training facilities”. Burdisso says it’s a place where “you can find everything you need for training. It’s a very special place for professional swimmers”.
In the Canary Islands you can find everything you need for training. It’s a very special place for professional swimmers.
Thomas Ceccon set a new world record in Budapest, taking gold in the 100m backstroke and 4x100m medley and bronze in the 4x100m freestyle. The 21-year-old swimmer prepared at T3 with a clear goal in mind: “to get the best possible results in the final competition of the season, because we’ll be on home ground”. And that’s just what he did. Ceccon tookgold for Italy in the 50m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 4×100m freestyle and 4×100m medley, plus two silver medals, in the 50m backstroke and 4×100m mixed medley. “This is an amazing place, with 50 and 25m pools, plus a swimming flume, something you don’t find in many places in the world,” he said during his visit.
In Tenerife we train to get the best possible results in the final competition of the season.
In addition to the exceptional climate, first-rate facilities, and connectivity with endless possibilities, the kinds of experiences these athletes enjoy are another example of what makes the Canary Islands a perfect destination for top level training and performance.