Italian triumph in cross-country swimming, Dario Verani is gold at the World Championships in the 25 km: "I feel like I'm living a dream"

Jul 01, 2022 557

Dario Verani won the gold medal in the 25 km cross-country at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest. "I have to be honest, from the beginning of the year we thought we could do it, but now I feel like I'm living a dream, I feel in heaven," the athlete confessed.  "I did not settle, once I was there I had to take advantage I said to myself, this is really a dream. Few believed in me, I believed in it and we succeeded."

The 25-kilometer cross-country race has been a feather in Italian swimming history for more than 30 years. In 1991, Roman Sergio Chiarandini won silver in Perth. Then, again in Australia, it was the turn of Marco Fiorentini from Genoa, who earned another silver in Melbourne in 2007. Memorable was the jubilation of Roman Valerio Cleri in 2009, in Ostia, after getting the gold to which he would add a silver the following year, in Roverbal.

In 2015, in Kazan, it was the turn of Pesaro-born Simone Ruffini to add a gold to the already rich medals table, later embellished by Matteo Furlan with bronze, also in Kazan, and a silver in Budapest. Women have also excelled in the competition for at least 20 years. Viola Valli was the opener in Honolulu in 2000, with gold replicated in Fukoka the following year. In 2005 it was Laura La Piana's turn to take bronze, then Federica Vitale, who finished third in Rome in 2009. Podium also for Martina Grimaldi in Barcelona in 2013 and for Arianna Bridi in Budapest in 2017.

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