arena is pleased to announce the signing of Swiss butterfly prodigy, Noè Ponti, for the current four-year cycle through the Paris Olympics in 2024. The 20-year-old has risen rapidly through the ranks of the world’s best over the past year, culminating in a 100m butterfly bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and a 200m butterfly silver at December’s FINA World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi.
"I’m really happy to join the Arena team and to be able to use their high-performance technology, which has already helped me achieve great results in the past year. As a young swimmer I used to look up to the Arena's Brand Ambassadors as role models, so I am very honoured to be able to be one myself now."
Born in Locarno, Lake Maggiore, in 2001, the Italian-speaking Swiss developed an affinity for water at an early age, swimming without support before he was 3 years old. He started competing when he was 6, soon meeting with success, and was classified as an elite sportsman at high school which allowed him to focus on swimming. He joined the Swiss national junior squad in 2015, graduating to the seniors in 2017, winning 2 silvers (100m butterfly, 200m IM) and a bronze (200m butterfly) at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary the same year, as well as making his senior debut at the European Short Course Championships in Copenhagen.
In 2018 Noè made his European Championship debut in Glasgow, where he narrowly missed the semi-final cut in 200m butterfly, and made 2 finals at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. The following year he won his first title – in 50m butterfly – at the European Junior Championships in Kazan, breaking both the Championship and Swiss records with a time of 23.48.
Following the hiatus forced by the global pandemic, Noè returned to the pool in 2020, and by the end of the year he had qualified for the postponed Tokyo Olympics in both butterfly events, and found himself in the top 5 in the world at 100m. With everyone building up to the Olympics, in 2021 he made 2 finals at the postponed European Championships in Budapest, and then 2 podiums at Sette Colli in Rome (100m butterfly silver, 50m butterfly bronze).
First up for Noè in Tokyo was the 200m butterfly, where he swam a faster heat than semi-final, and did not make the cut; his heat time would have qualified him as third fastest for the final. The 100m was entirely different, and in the final he swam a new personal best and national record in 50.74 to comfortably finish third as Caeleb Dressel and Kristóf Milák dominated the headlines. It was Switzerland’s third swimming medal in Olympic history. Another moment of great pride for him was finishing 6th with his teammates in the 4x200m freestyle relay, setting a new national record of 7:06.12.
If 2021 was a year of significant change for Noè, 2022 is a year of great potential. Awaiting him are Rome’s European Championships in August, and before that, a 21st birthday in June. It could well be a year of multiple celebrations for the young Swiss.
Noè Ponti Bio and Best Results
Born: 1st June, 2001, Locarno, Switzerland
Coach: Massimo Meloni and Andrea Mercuri
Club: Nuoto Sport Locarno/SATB Tenero, Switzerland
2021 XXXII Olympiad, Tokyo
- Bronze: 100m butterfly
15th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), Abu Dhabi
- Silver: 200m butterfly
2019 LEN European Junior Championships, Kazan
Gold: 50m butterfly
Photo credit: Patrick B. Kraemer / MAGICPBK - Mine Kasapoğlu