Rome was to be the main international target for OTS for 2019. A number of factors came into play: the attraction of IGLA in New York for World Pride celebrations meant that many could not afford the time or the expense of both meet; uncertainty as to the event organisation plus some last-minute cancellations reduced us to three swimmers. Chris P, Federico, and James F.
Communication prior to the games was poor and many athletes had unanswered questions. For the swimmers, a last-minute proposal to completely change the schedule was overturned by the Netherlanders at a meeting without too much fuss and vital questions like warm-up time and the length of the pool were answered.
The trains ran efficiently, taking around forty minutes to get us to the Federal Centre Polonatatory at Ostia at the coast. We were in a beautiful outdoor fifty metre pool with a twenty-five-metre indoor pool available for warm downs. Initially there were no heat sheets available but with only one hundred and twelve competitors this quickly materialised. Marshalling was efficient and it quickly became apparent that the officials knew exactly what they were doing. There was time to introduce each competitor in the race and clear the pool after each heat.
We enjoyed meeting up with the European clubs, recognising friends from Vienna and Paris meets earlier in the year. The Netherlands, Germany and The Belgian were the top three clubs and we did well to come 13th out of 19 countries. James and Federico were keen to swim a relay and co-opted a Stockholm swimmer, Nicolas, in a last minute unofficial team. Chris made up the fourth and swam 50m breaststroke for the 4x50 Medley! The referee was relaxed about us swimming and valuable experienced was gained. On the last day our plan to enter the 4 x 50 Mixed freestyle relay for fun, was also allowed. James H took time out from his Water Polo matches in the big indoor pool to help us beat the Italian mixed team. Thanks James.
With lunch time visits to the nearby beach this was a really enjoyable time and results are recognised by the Italian Swimming Body.