arena is pleased to announce the signing of young Italian all-rounder, Thomas Ceccon, to its elite team of athletes. The 21-year-old, who competes at the sport’s highest levels in 4 individual disciplines and won two medals at his debut Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, is contracted through the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
“I'm very happy to join the arena elite team, it's a really great group and gives me the opportunity to compete with the best equipment in the field,’’ said Thomas after his signing.
Thomas started swimming as an 8-year-old, and his versatility and talent soon saw him winning regional competitions. At his first national-level competition in 2015 (Criteria Nazionale Giovanili), he won 5 individual events, setting 3 age group records, and in 2016 he debuted at the European Junior Championships in Hungary.
2017 proved to be a breakout year as his promise started turning into podiums: 4x100m medley relay gold at the European Junior Championships in Netanya; 200 IM gold and 100m freestyle bronze at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Hungary; 4x100m medley bronze at the Junior World Championships in Indianapolis. (The World Junior bronze became silver after disqualification of a rival team.) He ended the year making his national senior debut at the European Short Course Championships in Copenhagen, and in amongst all the competition, also managed to move to Verona to start training at the Federal Centre.
Having won his first senior titles at the 2018 Italian Spring nationals (100m backstroke, 200m IM), Thomas swam his first European Championships in Glasgow, where he made the 100m backstroke final, and then a couple of months later at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, won 50m freestyle gold, 50m backstroke & 200m IM silver, and 100m backstroke & 4x100m medley bronze. In December he made his World SC Championship debut in Hangzhou, making the 100m backstroke semi-final, and his continued progression also saw him join the Italian State Police’s prestigious Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Oro.
Thomas had a disappointing debut by his standards at the World Championships in Gwangju 2019, once again getting as far as the 100m backstroke semi-final, but made amends at the World Junior Championships in Budapest a few months later by snagging two titles – 100m backstroke (in a championship record time of 53.46) and 50m butterfly – and also picking up the 50m backstroke bronze.
After the hiatus in competition due to the global pandemic, Thomas came back strongly in 2020, winning the 50m butterfly at Sette Colli in a personal best time of 23.29, and then at December’s Italian Open won the 100m backstroke title in a new national record of 52.84, becoming the first Italian to swim the event in under 53 seconds. Then at the postponed 2020 European Championships, held in Budapest in May 2021, he won three relay bronze medals, before heading out to Tokyo for his first Olympics. After narrowly missing out a 100m backstroke medal – finishing fourth, and breaking the national record twice (52.49 in heats, 52.30 in final) – he made the podium in two relays: the 4x100m freestyle silver in a new Italian record of 3:10.11, and the 4x100m medley bronze, also in a new Italian record of 3:29.17, handing the Italian men a first-ever medal in this event.
In a busy short-course season in November-December, Thomas was again in the medals, first at the European SC Championships in Kazan, where he won silver in the 200m IM & 4x50m freestyle relay, and a 50m butterfly bronze. He also swam the heats of the 4x50m medley relay, the Italians going on to break the world record in their triumph in the final. At Abu Dhabi’s World SC Championships, he won bronze in the 100m IM, silver in the 4x100m freestyle, and bronze in the 4x50m medley (having swum in the heats).
With 2022 shaping up to be a bumper year of competition with the World Championships scheduled for Budapest and the European Championships in front of a home crowd in Rome, Thomas is sure to be in contention for further podium finishes … in several events.
Thomas Ceccon Bio and Best Results
Born: 27 January, 2001 in Thiene, Italy
Disciplines: Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly, IM
Coach: Alberto Burlina
Club: GS Fiamme Oro, Rome / Leosport ASD, Verona
2021 – XXXII Olympiad, Tokyo
Silver: 4x100m freestyle
Bronze: 4x100m medley
LEN European Championships, Budapest
Bronze: 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley, 4x100m mixed freestyle
15th FINA World SC Championships, Abu Dhabi
Gold: 4x100m medley
Silver: 4x100m freestyle
Bronze: 100m IM, 4x50m medley
LEN European SC Swimming Championships, Kazan
Gold: 4x50m medley
Silver: 200m IM, 4x50m freestyle
Bronze: 50m butterfly
2019 LEN European SC Swimming Championships, Glasgow
Bronze: 4x50m freestyle
7th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, Budapest
Gold: 100m backstroke, 50m butterfly
Bronze: 50m backstroke, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m mixed freestyle
2018 Summer Youth Olympics, Buenos Aires
Gold: 50m freestyle
Silver: 50m backstroke, 200m IM
Bronze: 100m backstroke, 4x100m freestyle
2017 6th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, Indianapolis
Silver: 4x100m medley