Filippo Magnini (ITA), reported to be testing out his new Arena Revolution+, clocked a 48.35 in the 100m freest at the Sette Colli meet in Rome to get the better of three of the men vying for gold in Beijing, Alain Bernard (FRA) and Eamon Sullivan (AUS) both on 48.41, with another potential danger man, Stefan Nystrand (SWE), fourth in 48.98.
Federica Pellegrini (ITA) put in a 1:56.10 Italian record, 0.37sec up on the best time she set in Melbourne 2007 the day after ending Franziska van Almsick's 13-year reign at the helm of the world-record book. In second in Rome, in a 1:56.61 British record, was Joanna Jackson (GBR), that time heartening for her 400m and for the British 4x200m team and just 0.01sec shy of the Commonswealth record held by Bronte Barratt (AUS). Third went to Sara Isakovic (SLO), on 1:57.65.
Federico Colbertaldo (ITA) set an Italian record of 14:50.59, inside his previous 1,500m mark of 14:56.22 from Melbourne 2007. World champion Mateusz Sawrymowicz (POL) was second in 15:02.51.
In the 200m backstroke, Markus Rogan (AUT) put in a 1:57.50 win over a Hayden Stoeckel (AUS), on 1:57.98, with the Romanian with whom Rogan shared the Olympic podium in 2004, Razvan Florea, third in 1:58.58. The women's race went to Hanae Ito (JPN) in 2:08.80, ahead of Lizzie Simmonds (GBR), on 2:09.04, with Meagen Nay (AUS) third in 2:09.28.
The 200 breaststroke went to Kristopher Gilchrist (GBR) in 2:12.43, ahead of Italians Paolo Bossini, 2:13.69, and Loris Facci, 2:15.50, those three among the men now looking east to events in Tokyo and wondering whether they have what it will take to make the podium in Beijing. No worries there for Leisel Jones (AUS), who looks all but invincible at this stage, with a 2:21.81 that fell half a second shy of her trials time back in March. Joline Hostman (SWE), on 2:25.38, and Kirsty Balfour (GBR), on 2:28.85 are among the pack that must be looking at the sort of times Jones clocked in Rome just to make the medals in Beijing.
Stephanie Rice (AUS) was well down on her world-record 200m medley but a strong 2:11.34 (still faster than the likes of 100k a weekers Li Lin and Ute Geweniger put in way back when to dominate for so long) kept Hannah Miley (GBR) at bay in 2:12.07. Miley's teammate Liam Tancock took the men's event in 2:00.26. The men's 4x200 free went to Brits Robbie Renwick, David Carry, Andrew Hunter and Ross Davenport in 7:13.24.